Optical Absorption Spectroscopy of Doped Materials: The P213-P212121 Phase Transition in K2(Cd0.98Co0.02)2(SO4)3

M. J. L. Percival*
Dept. of Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge, Downing St, Cambridge CB2 3EQ, U.K.
*Present address: Materials Lab GP1-5, Rolls Royce plc, P.O. Box 3, Filton, Bristol BS12 7QE.

Abstract: The use of optical absorption spectroscopy for the study of the changes in local distortions during phase transformations is discussed, with particular reference to the P213-P212121 transition in K2Co2(SO4)3 langbeinite. In order to extend this technique to the study of cobalt-doped cadmium langbeinite, K2Cd2(SO4)3, the consequences of the doping with regard to site occupancies and low signal strength are discussed, and some details of data modelling are considered. The problem of modelling the spectrum of Finero sapphirine is taken as an example, and it is shown that even simple and evidently inadequate models can provide useful information.

The results of optical spectroscopic investigation of the P213-P212121 transition in K2(Cd0.98Co0.02)2(SO4)3 langbeinite are presented. The trigonal splitting of the spin allowed 4T1g(F)-4T1g(P) transition has been determined, and shows a linear increase with increasing temperature in the high temperature cubic phase, and a constant value in the low temperature phase. This is in good agreement with previous structural work on this material, and it is concluded that optical spectroscopy of doped materials can provide useful information about site distortions.

Keywords: optical absorption spectroscopy • phase transition • langbeinite • cadmium

Mineralogical Magazine; December 1990 v. 54; no. 377; p. 525-535; DOI: 10.1180/minmag.1990.054.377.01
© 1990, The Mineralogical Society
Mineralogical Society (www.minersoc.org)