Special Issue "X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy of Synthetic and Natural Minerals"

A special issue of Minerals (ISSN 2075-163X). This special issue belongs to the section "Crystallography and Physical Chemistry of Minerals & Nanominerals".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Alexander Trigub
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Synchrotron and Neutron Radiation, Kurchatov Institute, 123098 Moscow, Russia
Interests: XAS; EXAFS; XANES; DFT; atomic structure; synchrotron radiation

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In order to understand the properties of materials and improve them, we need to know their atomic and electronic structure. One of the structural methods used to determine atomic structure is X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS). Due to their ability to solve a wide range of scientific problems, XAS techniques are widely used for determining the atomic structure of liquids, melts, and minerals. X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) methods, including pre-edge, x-ray absorption near‐edge structure (XANES), extended x‐ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) regions, and the detection of fluorescence yield with high energy resolution (HERFD XAS), provide quantitative characteristics of geological matter.

EXAFS provides reliable structural information concerning local, short-range atomic structure, including the number, chemical nature, and distances to neighboring atoms from the atomic site of interest.

XANES and HERFD XAS provide information concerning the oxidation state of an absorbing atom and the symmetry of its local atomic surroundings. XANES spectra are quiet difficult to analyse, but can be used for straightforward analysis of atomic and electronic structures.

Another advantage of the XAS is applicability for the investigation of electronic states and the atomic geometry of impurities with very low concentrations. 

This Special Issue aims to publish papers with applications and demonstrations of the ability of XAS techniques to solve the atomic and electronic structures of synthetic and natural minerals.

Dr. Alexander Trigub
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Minerals is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • XAS
  • XANES
  • EXAFS
  • minerals

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
The Charge State of Pt in Binary Compounds and Synthetic Minerals Determined by X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy and Quantum Chemical Calculations
Minerals 2021, 11(1), 79; https://doi.org/10.3390/min11010079 - 15 Jan 2021
Viewed by 544
Abstract
The binary synthetic compounds of Pt with chalcogens (O, S, Se, Te), pnictogens (As, Sb, Bi), and intermetallic compounds with Ga, In, and Sn of various stoichiometry were studied via X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS). The partial atomic charges of Pt in the compounds [...] Read more.
The binary synthetic compounds of Pt with chalcogens (O, S, Se, Te), pnictogens (As, Sb, Bi), and intermetallic compounds with Ga, In, and Sn of various stoichiometry were studied via X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS). The partial atomic charges of Pt in the compounds were computed using quantum chemical density functional theory (DFT) based methods: the Bader (QTAIM) method, and the density-derived electrostatic and chemical (DDEC6) approach. Strong positive correlations were established between the calculated partial atomic charges of Pt and the electronegativity (χ) of ligands. The partial charge of Pt in PtL2 compounds increases much sharply when the ligand electronegativity increases than the Pt partial charge in PtL compounds. The effect of the ligand-to-Pt atomic ratio on the calculated Pt partial charge depended on ligand electronegativity. The DDEC6 charge of Pt increases sharply with the growth of the number of ligands in PtSn (n = 1, 2; electronegativity χ(S) >> χ(Pt)), weakly depends on the phase composition in PtTen (n = 1, 2; χ(Te) is slightly lower than χ(Pt)), and decreases (becomes more negative) with increase of the ligand-to-Pt ratio in intermetallic compounds with electron donors (χ(L) < χ(Pt), L = Ga, In, Sn). According to XANES spectroscopy, the number of 5d (L2,3 absorption edges) and 6p (L1-edge) electrons at the Pt site decreased when ligand electronegativity increased in chalcogenides and pnictides groups. An increase of the ligand-to-Pt ratio resulted in the increase of the Pt L3-edge white line intensity and area in all studied compounds. In the case of chalcogenides and pnictides, this behavior was consistent with the electronegativity rule as it indicated a loss of Pt 5d electrons caused by the increase of the number of ligands, i.e., acceptors of electrons. However, in the case of ligands–electron donors (Te, Sn, Ga, In) this observation is in apparent contradiction with the electronegativity arguments as it indicates the increase of the number of Pt 5d-shell vacancies (holes) with the increase of the number of the ligands, for which the opposite trend is expected. This behavior can be explained in the framework of the charge compensation model. The loss of the Pt d-electrons in compounds with low ligand electronegativity (χ(Pt) > χ(L)) was overcompensated by the gain of the hybridized s-p electron density, which was confirmed by Pt L1 - edge spectra analysis. As a result, the total electron density at the Pt site followed the electronegativity rule, i.e., it increased with the growth of the number of the ligands-electron donors. The empirical correlations between the Pt partial atomic charges and parameters of XANES spectral features were used to identify the state of Pt in pyrite, and can be applied to determine the state of Pt in other ore minerals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy of Synthetic and Natural Minerals)
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Open AccessArticle
Probing the Local Atomic Structure of In and Cu in Sphalerite by XAS Spectroscopy Enhanced by Reverse Monte Carlo Algorithm
Minerals 2020, 10(10), 841; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10100841 - 24 Sep 2020
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Abstract
The distortion of atomic structure around In and Cu dopants in sphalerite ZnS was explored by extended X-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) spectroscopy enhanced by reverse Monte Carlo (RMC) simulation (RMC-EXAFS method). These data were complemented with quantum chemical Density Functional Theory (DFT) [...] Read more.
The distortion of atomic structure around In and Cu dopants in sphalerite ZnS was explored by extended X-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) spectroscopy enhanced by reverse Monte Carlo (RMC) simulation (RMC-EXAFS method). These data were complemented with quantum chemical Density Functional Theory (DFT) calculations and theoretical modeling of X-ray absorption near edge spectroscopy (XANES) spectra. The RMC-EXAFS method showed that in the absence of Cu, the In-bearing solid solution is formed via the charge compensation scheme 3Zn2+↔2In3+ + □, where □ is a Zn vacancy. The coordination spheres of In remain undistorted. Formation of the solid solution in the case of (In, Cu)-bearing sphalerites follows the charge compensation scheme 2Zn2+↔Cu+ + In3+. In the solid solution, splitting of the interatomic distances in the 2nd and 3rd coordination spheres of In and Cu is observed. The dopants’ local atomic structure is slightly distorted around In but highly distorted around Cu. The DFT calculations showed that the geometries with close arrangement (clustering) of the impurities—In and Cu atoms, or the In atom and a vacancy—are energetically more favorable than the random distribution of the defects. However, as no heavy In atoms were detected in the 2nd shell of Cu by means of EXAFS, and the 2nd shell of In was only slightly distorted, we conclude that the defects are distributed randomly (or at least, not close to each other). The disagreement of the RMC-EXAFS fittings with the results of the DFT calculations, according to which the closest arrangement of dopants is the most stable configuration, can be explained by the presence of other defects of the sphalerite crystal lattice, which were not considered in the DFT calculations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy of Synthetic and Natural Minerals)
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Open AccessArticle
The State of Trace Elements (In, Cu, Ag) in Sphalerite Studied by X-Ray Absorption Spectroscopy of Synthetic Minerals
Minerals 2020, 10(7), 640; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10070640 - 20 Jul 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 839
Abstract
The oxidation state and local atomic environment of admixtures of In, Cu, and Ag in synthetic sphalerite crystals were determined by X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS). The sphalerite crystals doped with In, Cu, Ag, In–Cu, and In–Ag were synthesized utilizing gas transport, salt flux, [...] Read more.
The oxidation state and local atomic environment of admixtures of In, Cu, and Ag in synthetic sphalerite crystals were determined by X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS). The sphalerite crystals doped with In, Cu, Ag, In–Cu, and In–Ag were synthesized utilizing gas transport, salt flux, and dry synthesis techniques. Oxidation states of dopants were determined using X-ray absorption near edge structure (XANES) technique. The local atomic structure was studied by X-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopy (EXAFS). The spectra were recorded at Zn, In, Ag, and Cu K-edges. In all studied samples, In was in the 3+ oxidation state and replaced Zn in the structure of sphalerite, which occurs with the expansion of the nearest coordination shells due to the large In ionic radius. In the presence of In, the oxidation state of Cu and Ag is 1+, and both metals can form an isomorphous solid solution where they substitute for Zn according to the coupled substitution scheme 2Zn2+ ↔ Me+ + In3+. Moreover, Ag K-edges EXAFS spectra fitting, combined with the results obtained for In- and Au-bearing sphalerite shows that the Me-S distances in the first coordination shell in the solid solution state are correlated with the ionic radii and increase in the order of Cu < Ag < Au. The distortion of the atomic structure increases in the same order. The distant (second and third) coordination shells of Cu and Ag in sphalerite are split into two subshells, and the splitting is more pronounced for Ag. Analysis of the EXAFS spectra, coupled with the results of DFT (Density Function Theory) simulations, showed that the In–In and Me+–In3+ clustering is absent when the metals are present in the sphalerite solid solution. Therefore, all studied admixtures (In, Cu, Ag), as well as Au, are randomly distributed in the matrix of sphalerite, where the concentration of the elements in the “invisible” form can reach a few tens wt.%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy of Synthetic and Natural Minerals)
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Open AccessArticle
An X-ray Absorption Near-Edge Structure (XANES) Study on the Oxidation State of Chromophores in Natural Kunzite Samples from Nuristan, Afghanistan
Minerals 2020, 10(5), 463; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10050463 - 20 May 2020
Viewed by 798
Abstract
Kunzite, the pink variety of spodumene is famous and desirable among gemstone lovers. Due to its tenebrescent properties, kunzite always remains a hot research candidate among physicists and mineralogists. The present work is continuing the effort towards value addition to kunzite by enhancing [...] Read more.
Kunzite, the pink variety of spodumene is famous and desirable among gemstone lovers. Due to its tenebrescent properties, kunzite always remains a hot research candidate among physicists and mineralogists. The present work is continuing the effort towards value addition to kunzite by enhancing its color using different treatments. Before color enhancement, it is essential to identify the chromophores and their oxidation states. In this paper, the authors investigated the main impurities in natural kunzite from the Nuristan area in Afghanistan and their valence states. Some impurities in the LiAlSi2O6 spodumene structure were identified and quantified by using sensitive techniques, including Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS), UV−VIS and X-ray absorption near-edge structure (XANES). LA-ICP-MS indicated many trace elements as impurities in kunzite, among which Fe and Mn are the main elements responsible for coloration. The oxidation states of these two transition elements were determined by the XANES technique. The study reveals that Mn is present in both Mn2+ and Mn3+ oxidation states, while Fe is present only in Fe3+ oxidation state. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy of Synthetic and Natural Minerals)
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