The Crystal Structure of Non-Stoichiometric Euanorthite: An Explanation of the Eu-Positive Anomaly

Mitsuyoshi Kimata
Institute of Geoscience, The University of Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305, Japan

Abstract: Synthetic Eu-anorthite of the alkali feldspar structure type has been refined to Rw = 4.7% using 3-D counter diffractometer data and full-matrix least-squares methods. The chemical composition of the feldspar is Eu0.92Al1.76Si2.24O8, based on both occupancy refinement of the Eu atom site and estimation of the Al/Si distribution calculated from the mean T-O bond length. The unit cell parameters are a = 8.373(1), b = 12.959(1), c = 7.124(1) Å, and β = 115.51(1)° and the symmetry is enhanced to C2/m. Mean bond lengths are T(1)-O = 1.677 Å, T(2)-O = 1.668 Å, and Eu-O = 2.721 Å. The average Al/Si distribution over the T(1) and T(2) sites calculated from the mean T-O bond length is in fairly good agreement with an estimate of the Al content from the bond strength calculation; the Al partition is calculated as t1 = 0.47 and t2 = 0.41 respectively. Summing the bond strengths of these Eu and partially disordered Al/Si cations approximates to electrostatic neutrality for the anion content of the feldspar structure, indicating that this synthetic Eu feldspar can be non-stoichiometric, signifying vacancies on the alkali cation site.

Plagioclase and melilite generally show a positive Eu anomaly. A fair insight into the driving force of this anomaly can be afforded by the crystallo-chemical affinities of Eu2+ and Eu3+ cations to the crystal structures of their host minerals; (1) ioinic radius, (2) electrostatic charge balance and (3) tolerance for non-stoichiometry of the crystal structure.

Keywords: feldspars • anorthite • europium anomaly • non-stoichiometry

Mineralogical Magazine; April 1988 v. 52; no. 365; p. 257-265; DOI: 10.1180/minmag.1988.052.365.13
© 1988, The Mineralogical Society
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