Synthesis of novel sulfosalt materials with curved crystalline habits

Guy Moore Crawford, University of Texas at El Paso


Minerals and man-made materials with circular crystalline habit are very rare. A group of the complex iron-containing sulfosalt minerals exhibit a non-commensurate layered crystalline structure and are found with curved crystals. Cylindrite, named because of its cylindrical crystal habit, is the most easily recognized member of the group. The other members of the family, franckeite, incaite and potosiite, have similar compositions and are all lamellar. The two incommensurate interpenetrating sublattices have different but definite structures. One sublattice is PbS-type pseudotetragonal and the other SnS 2-type pseudohexagonal. Iron is found in both sublattices. The detailed crystal structures of these minerals remains unsolved. With the exception of a few phase studies, little is known about the chemistry of the minerals or the mechanism that prompts the formation of these misfit-layered materials. As sulfides, these minerals are of interest for their potential electronic and magnetic applications. A series of synthesis reactions were carried out to examine the effects on the properties and structures of the sulfosalts that are induced by the substitutions into the crystal lattice. Other transition metals were substituted in the place of iron in the incommensurate minerals, and selenium and tellurium replaced sulfur in cylindrite. The structure and properties were evaluated by environmental scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction and differential thermal analysis. Curved and lamellar features were observed in several phases of the synthetic substitutional products. No correlations were immediately evident relating the composition to the propensity to form curved features.* *This dissertation is multimedia (contains text and other applications not available in printed format). The CD requires the following system application: Microsoft Office.

Subject Area

Mineralogy|Chemistry|Materials science

Recommended Citation

Crawford, Guy Moore, "Synthesis of novel sulfosalt materials with curved crystalline habits" (2002). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI3081128.