Modulated structure of hemimorphite associated with pressure–induced phase transition

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In situ high–pressure single–crystal X–ray diffraction experiments on natural hemimorphite, ideally Zn4[Si2O7](OH)2·H2O, up to 4.7 GPa were conducted to investigate its pressure response property associated with pressure–induced phase transition. After the phase transition confirmed between 2.46 and 3.01 GPa, pairs of satellite reflections were newly found at certain Bragg reflections. The modulation vector q of the satellites was approximately [0, 1/8.4, 0]. The results of the refinements on the averaged structure indicated that the modulation arose from displacements of atomic sites associated with the mechanism of the phase transition, i.e., the rotation of the secondary building unit (SBU). The lower rotation angle of the SBU (Φ) than the value estimated from the non–modulated structure meant that the high–pressure phase contained anti–phase boundaries (APBs) resulting from the opposite direction of the SBU rotation and that the coherency was held across the APBs. Within the coherent domain, the APB’s intervals were distributed along the b–axis with a mean value of 8.4b ≈ 90 Å, where the displacement of each site η( y) was approximated as the first–harmonic. The distribution of the direction of SBU rotation was initially considered to be inhomogeneous, but the elimination of the APBs had proceeded anisotropically and had been aborted below 3.01 GPa.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)251-262
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Mineralogical and Petrological Sciences
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Anti–phase boundary
  • Hemimorphite
  • Pressure–induced phase transition
  • Single–crystal x–ray diffraction
  • Structural modulation


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