Crystal field models commonly applied to explain the electronic properties of solid f-electron compounds are discussed from the point of view of their inherent limitations and the false conclusions they may lead to. Both phenomenological and ab initio approximate models are considered. The discussion is based on generalized perturbation model calculations of the crystal field parameters for europium, uranium, plutonium and neptunium ions in various crystals. The results reveal the inadequacy of various electrostatic approaches and the correctness of models based on renormalization terms. © 1995.
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