Abstract

A structural derivative of quartz with the composition Mg0.5AlSiO4 has been grown from glass and characterized using synchrotron X-ray diffraction (XRD), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and 29Si nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. Rietveld analysis of the XRD data indicates that the framework of Mg0.5AlSiO4 is isostructural with α-quartz, rather than β-quartz, as is consistent with previous theoretical modeling (Sternitzke and Müller 1991). Al and Si exhibit long-range disorder over the framework tetrahedral sites, indicated by the absence of the superlattice reflections corresponding to the doubling of c relative to that of quartz. Nevertheless, 29Si NMR measurements show that Al and Si exhibit partial short-range order with an ordering degree of 56%. Electron diffraction reveals superlattice reflections indicative of doubled periodicities along the a-axes. Fourier electron density maps show that Mg occupies channel sites that each are bonded to six O atoms, in contrast to the tetrahedral coordination of Li in the β-quartz-type framework for β-eucryptite, LiAlSiO4. Furthermore, the concentrations of Mg in adjacent channels are different, resulting in framework distortions that generate the superstructures along a.

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