Answer to Question #54387 in Inorganic Chemistry for Amit
All actinides are characterized by partially filled 5f, 6d, and 7s orbitals.
In the early actinides the 5f orbitals are less core like. In addition, the 5f and 6d orbitals are more similar in energy. So that d orbital participation can increase the covalent contribution to bonding, allowing oxidation states above +4 to form. However as the atomic number increases the 5f orbitals become more core-like, bonding becomes more ionic and oxidation state +3, becomes more dominant (+3 is the most stable oxidation state for Am and all heavier actinides.).
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