We report the first ionization potentials (IP1) of the heavy actinides, fermium (Fm, atomic number Z = 100), mendelevium (Md, Z = 101), nobelium (No, Z = 102), and lawrencium (Lr, Z = 103), determined using a method based on a surface ionization process coupled to an online mass separation technique in an atom-at-a-time regime. The measured IP1 values agree well with those predicted by state-of-the-art relativistic calculations performed alongside the present measurements. Similar to the well-established behavior for the lanthanides, the IP1 values of the heavy actinides up to No increase with filling up the 5f orbital, while that of Lr is the lowest among the actinides. These results clearly demonstrate that the 5f orbital is fully filled at No with the [Rn]5f147s2 configuration and that Lr has a weakly bound electron outside the No core. In analogy to the lanthanide series, the present results unequivocally verify that the actinide series ends with Lr.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry