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Open AccessArticle

X-ray Laue Microdiffraction and Raman Spectroscopic Investigation of Natural Silicon and Moissanite

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NIF & Photon Science Directorate, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, PO Box 808, Livermore, CA 94551, USA
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Physical and Life Sciences Directorate, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, PO Box 808, Livermore, CA 94551, USA
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Independent Consultant in Ore Deposits, Tel Aviv 2067041, Israel
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Advanced Light Source, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, 1 Cyclotron Road, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
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Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of California Riverside, 900 University Avenue, Riverside, CA 92521, USA
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Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Minerals 2020, 10(3), 204; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10030204
Received: 30 January 2020 / Revised: 20 February 2020 / Accepted: 21 February 2020 / Published: 25 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mineral Physics—In Memory of Orson Anderson)
Moissanite, SiC, is an uncommon accessory mineral that forms under low oxygen fugacity. Here, we analyze natural SiC from a Miocene tuff-sandstone using synchrotron Laue microdiffraction and Raman spectroscopy, in order to better understand the SiC phases and formation physics. The studied crystals of SiC consist of 4H- and 6H-SiC domains, formed from either, continuous growth or, in one case, intergrown, together with native Si. The native Si is polycrystalline, with a large crystal size relative to the analytical beam dimensions (>1–2 μm). We find that the intergrown region shows low distortion or dislocation density in SiC, but these features are comparatively high in Si. The distortion/deformation observed in Si may have been caused by a mismatch in the coefficients of thermal expansion of the two materials. Raman spectroscopic measurements are discussed in combination with our Laue microdiffraction results. Our results suggest that these SiC grains likely grew from an igneous melt. View Full-Text
Keywords: SiC; Laue diffraction; microdiffraction; natural silicon; moissanite; Si; synchrotron; polymorph; mineral deformation SiC; Laue diffraction; microdiffraction; natural silicon; moissanite; Si; synchrotron; polymorph; mineral deformation
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Stan, C.V.; O’Bannon, E.F., III; Mukhin, P.; Tamura, N.; Dobrzhinetskaya, L. X-ray Laue Microdiffraction and Raman Spectroscopic Investigation of Natural Silicon and Moissanite. Minerals 2020, 10, 204.

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