Abstract

Kamotoite-(Y) is a rare supergene product of uraninite hydration–oxidation weathering and its structure is unknown. Based on single-crystal X-ray diffraction data collected with high-redundancy using a microfocus source, kamotoite-(Y) is monoclinic, has space group P21/n, with a = 12.3525(5), b = 12.9432(5), c = 19.4409(7) Å, β = 99.857(3)°, V = 3069.8(2) Å3 and Z = 4. Crystals are pervasively twinned (two-fold rotation around [0.75 0 0.75]), giving a strongly pseudo-orthorhombic diffraction pattern. The pseudo-orthorhombic pattern can be described with an orthorhombic super-cell (transformation matrix 0,1,0/1,0,1/3,0,1), approximately four times larger in volume then a true monoclinic unit cell. This unit-cell is the same as the cell given elsewhere for the structure of bijvoetite-(Y), another (REE)-containing uranyl carbonate. The successful structure solution and refinement (R = 0.044 for 6294 unique observed reflections), carried out using our choice of unit cell, as well as the superstructure refinement and comparison of the original structure data for bijvoetite-(Y) reveal that these two crystal structures are identical. The crystal structure of kamotoite-(Y) consists of electroneutral sheets of the bijvoetite-(Y) uranylanion topology and an interlayer with H2O molecules not-coordinated directly to any metal cation. Despite determination of the kamotoite-(Y) structure and demonstration that bijvoetite-(Y) has the same structure, the identity of these two minerals cannot be proved without additional study of the holotype material.

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