Abstract

Tazzoliite, ideally Ba2CaSr0.5Na0.5Ti2Nb3SiO17[PO2(OH)2]0.5, is a new mineral (IMA 2011-018) from Monte delle Basse, Euganei Hills, Galzignano Terme, Padova, Italy. It occurs as lamellar pale orange crystals, which are typically a few μm thick and up to 0.4 mm long, closely associated with a diopsidic pyroxene and titanite. Tazzoliite is transparent. It has a white streak, a pearly lustre, is not fluorescent and has a hardness of 6 (Mohs' scale). The tenacity is brittle and the crystals have a perfect cleavage along {010}. The calculated density is 4.517 g cm3. Tazzoliite is biaxial (−) with 2Vmeas of ~50°, it is not pleochroic and the average refractive index is 2.04. No twinning was observed. Electronmicroprobe analyses gave the following chemical formula: (Ba1.93Ca1.20Sr0.52Na0.25Fe0.102+4(Nb2.88Ti2.05Ta0.07Zr0.01V0.015+5.02SiO17[(P0.13Si0.12S0.070.32O0.66(OH)0.66][F0.09(OH)0.230.32.

Tazzoliite is orthorhombic, space group Fmmm, with unit-cell parameters a = 7.4116(3), b = 20.0632(8), c = 21.4402(8) Å, V = 3188.2(2) Å3 and Z = 8. The crystal structure, obtained from single-crystal X-ray diffraction data, was refined to R1(F2) = 0.063. It consists of a framework of Nb(Ti) octahedra and BaO7 polyhedra sharing apexes or edges, and Si tetrahedra sharing apexes with Nb(Ti) octahedra and BaO7 polyhedra. The structure, which is related to the pyrochlore structure, contains three Nb(Ti) octahedra: two are Nb dominant and one is Ti dominant. Chains of A2O8 polyhedra [A2 being occupied by Sr(Ca,Fe)] extend along [100] and are surrounded by Nb octahedra. Channels formed by six Nb(Ti) octahedra and two tetrahedra, or four A1O8(OH) polyhedra (A1 being occupied by Ba), alternate along [100]. The channels are partially occupied by [PO2(OH)2] in two possible mutually exclusive positions, alternating with fully occupied A3O7 polyhedral pairs [A3 being occupied by Ca(Na)]. The seven strongest X-ray powder diffraction lines [d in Å (I/I0) (hkl)] are: 3.66 (60) (044), 3.16 (30) (153), 3.05 (100) (204), 2.98 (25) (240), 2.84 (50) (064), 1.85 (25) (400) and 1.82 (25) (268). Raman spectra of tazzoliite were collected in the range 150–3700 cm−1 and confirm the presence of OH groups. Tazzoliite is named in honour of Vittorio Tazzoli in recognition of his contributions to the fields of mineralogy and crystallography.

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