Mechanochemical Synthesis of Uranium Sesquisilicide

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Uranium sesquisilicide (U3Si2) has been prepared by high energy ball milling of the elemental powders. Starting materials were combined in a planetary ball mill and milled with a 10:1 ball-to-powder charge for varying times between 0 and 24 hours. Temperature and pressure of the milling vial were monitored to gain insight into reaction kinetics. The development of USi3 as an intermediate phase is discussed. Starting materials and as-milled powders were characterized by X-ray Diffraction (XRD), Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS), demonstrating the viability of mechanochemical synthesis for U3Si2.