MINERALOGY

A new structure for an old mineral

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Science  15 Jan 2021:
Vol. 371, Issue 6526, pp. 249-250
DOI: 10.1126/science.371.6526.249-d

The rare mineral kaliophilite, discovered in 1839, has the simple formula of KAlSiO4, but this is a surprisingly challenging crystal structure to nail down. Mugnaioli et al. determined the structure using a combination of techniques including electron and x-ray diffraction. Kaliophilite has a complex and intriguing framework structure with several different silicate tetrahedra–based rings and the potential for very large cavities. This discovery opens the door to developing other useful topologies for applications such as catalysis, photonics, and more.

IUCrJ 7, 1070 (2020).

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