Abstract

This paper reports an infrared spectroscopic study of a set of sodalite-group minerals. The specimens have been identified using a combination of X-ray diffraction and microchemical analysis. As expected, the Si/Al ratio is ∼1; the extra framework cation content is characterized by a well-defined Na ⇌ (Ca+K) substitution. The lattice parameters of the studied samples range from sodalite (sample LM11) with a = 8.889(2) Å, to haüyne (sample HR3S) with a = 9.1265(2) Å. The specimens, having the

\(\mathrm{SO}_{4}^{2-}\)
group as a dominant anion, show a clear correlation between the a cell edge and the K content. Single-crystal FTIR spectroscopy shows that haüyne and nosean typically contain enclathrated CO2 molecules, in addition to H2O and minor carbonate, while sodalite is virtually CO2-free. Detailed microspectrometric mappings show a non-homogeneous distribution of volatile constituents across the crystals, which may be related to the presence of fractures in the crystals. Because of such zoning, a relatively wide variation is observed when calibrating extinction coefficients on the basis of a bulk analytical method such as CHN elemental analysis.

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