Abstract

Wakabayashilite is a rare mineral with ideal formula [(As,Sb)6S9][As4S5]. Its structure consists of an [M6S9] bundle-like unit (M = As, Sb) running along the [001] axis and [As4S5] cage-like molecules. In this study, samples of wakabayashilite from different occurrences (Khaidarkan, Kyrgyzstan; Jas Roux, France; White Caps mine, USA; Nishinomaki mine, Japan) were selected to verify the possible presence of different molecular groups replacing the As4S5 molecule. Given the chemical (electron probe microanalysis-wavelength dispersive spectroscopy), spectroscopic (micro-Raman) and structural (single-crystal X-ray diffraction) results obtained, it appears evident that only the As4S5 molecular group is present in the wakabayashilite structure and that the apparent non-stoichiometry reported in literature is actually due to unreliable chemical analyses. The structural role of the minor elements (Cu, Zn and Tl) in wakabayashilite is also discussed.

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