Abstract

The crystal structure of charoite was investigated mainly by using selected-area electron diffraction (SAED), X-ray diffraction (XRD) and high-resolution electron microscopy (HREM). SAED and XRD patterns indicate that the structure has a monoclinic cell: a = 32.296, b = 19.651, c = 7.16 Å, β = 96.3° and V = 4517 Å3. The space group inferred from systematic absences and HREM images is P21/m. A model of the charoite structure is proposed that is based on the features of related Ca-alkaline silicate structures and HREM images. The structure of charoite consists of three different silicon-oxygen radicals (polymerized SiO4 tetrahedra) which are located between Ca polyhedra. Two of these radicals form continuous tubular structures comprising pectolite-like tetrahedral chains. Calcium polyhedra are joined to form blocks, each of which consists of four columns sharing edges and apices. Potassium and H2O molecules are probably located inside the tubular silicate radicals. From these results, a general formula is derived: K6-7(Ca,Na)18[(Si6O17)(Si12O30)(Si18O45)](OH,F)2·nH2O with two formula units in the unit cell (Z = 2).

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