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James V. Beitz

Chemist and Group Leader,
Heavy Elements Photophysics and Photochemistry

Argonne National Laboratory
CHM 200, Room M169
9700 South Cass Avenue
Argonne, IL 60439
Phone: 630-252-7393
Fax: 630-252-4225
E-mail: beitz@anl.gov

Dr. James V. Beitz has pioneered the application of laser-induced fluorescence
based methods for studies on the photophysics, photochemistry, and spectroscopy
of actinide compounds. He has developed other laser-based analysis methods
that include variable temperature photoacoustic spectroscopy and optically
detected nuclear magnetic resonance for use with actinide materials. He received
his doctorate in physical chemistry from the University of California at Berkeley.

While a postdoctoral associate at Argonne National Laboratory, he published a
paper that was among the 100 most cited chemistry papers over a three-year period.
He subsequently joined the Heavy Elements Chemistry group and currently is the
group leader of the Heavy Elements Photophysics and Photochemistry Group. He
has received Argonne National Laboratory's Pacesetter and Exceptional Performance
awards for his pioneering work of high importance to the mission of one of the nation's
premier research and development facilities. His recent investigations into the properties
of chemically functionalized porous silica have resulted in creation of a new, single
material approach to nuclear waste forms. His method encapsulates sorbed actinide
ions in phosphate-rich, actinide-containing nanophases that are embedded in fused
silica at process temperatures more that 300 K lower than needed to make present
borosilicate-based nuclear waste glasses.

His extensive investigations into the properties of actinide hexafluorides, including
uranium hexafluoride, have resulted in breakthroughs in understanding their chemical
reactivity and interpreting their most characteristic electronically excited states. His
work on speciation of uranyl fluoride complexes in hydrofluoric acid has provided the
fundamental science basis for a novel, high sensitivity means for detecting breached
uranium hexafluoride storage cylinders. His work on transuranic ion photophysics in
solution provided the insight into excited state dynamics of 5f electron states that was
essential for subsequent studies at environmentally relevant concentrations of complexes
of such ions. He has published over 50 papers in refereed journals and holds a patent
on a method of purifying uranium hexafluoride gas.

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