Franckeite (~FeSn3Pb5Sb2S14) is a sulfosalt mineral with a modulated structure. Its complex composition and composite layered structure, lack of a well-defined unit cell, incommensurate character, and poor crystal quality have made its structure difficult to study by standard X-ray and electron diffraction methods. Imaging by high-angle, annular, dark-field (HAADF) scanning transmission electron microscopy provides a way of mapping compositional distributions close to an atomic scale. By comparing the structure as viewed by standard high-resolution transmission electron microscopy with the compositional information provided by the HAADF technique, we were able to test and confirm the assumption that layers consisting of multiple sheets of SnS2 and PbS are stacked along the a axis with a 1.73 nm repeat.

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