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Structural and compositional variations of basic Cu(II) chlorides in the herbertsmithite and gillardite structure field

  • Matthew J. Sciberras (a1), Peter Leverett (a1), Peter A. Williams (a1), Jochen Schlüter (a2), Thomas Malcherek (a2), Mark D. Welch (a3), Peter J. Downes (a4), David E. Hibbs (a5) and Anthony R. Kampf (a6)...


Natural samples of the substituted basic Cu(II) chloride series, Cu4–x M x 2+(OH)6Cl2(M = Zn, Ni, or Mg) were investigated by single-crystal X-ray diffraction in order to elucidate compositional boundaries associated with paratacamite and its congeners. The compositional ranges examined are Cu3.65Zn0.35(OH)6Cl2 – Cu3.36Zn0.64(OH)6Cl2 and Cu3.61Ni0.39(OH)6Cl2 – Cu3.13Ni0.87(OH)6Cl2, along with a single Mg-bearing phase. The majority of samples studied have trigonal symmetry (Rm) analogous to that of herbertsmithite (Zn) and gillardite (Ni), with a ≈ 6.8, c ≈ 14.0 Å. Crystallographic variations for these samples caused by composition are compared with both published and new data for the Rm sub-cell of paratacamite, paratacamite-(Mg) and paratacamite-(Ni). The observed trends suggest that the composition of end-members associated with the paratacamite congeners depend upon the nature of the substituting cation.


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