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Optical expressions of ion-pair interactions in minerals


Mattson, Stephanie Margaret (1985) Optical expressions of ion-pair interactions in minerals. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology.


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Clusters of transition element cations in neighboring sites frequently govern the optical properties of minerals. This is particularly true of Fe-bearing minerals which may exhibit several types of ion-pair transitions. In this thesis four different types of interactions were distinguished: intensified spin-forbidden transitions of Fe3+ clusters, intensified Fe2+ spin-allowed transitions of Fe2+-Fe3+ clusters, heteronuclear charge transfer transitions of Fe2+-Ti4+ and Mn2+-Ti4+ clusters, and homonuclear charge transfer transitions of Fe2+-Fe3+ clusters.

The optical characteristics of Fe3+ in red Fe3+ rich and black Fe3+,Fe2+-rich tourmalines were examined by absorption spectroscopy in the visible and near-infrared, Mossbauer spectroscopy and magnetic susceptibility measurements. Intense optical absorption features at 485 and 540 nm were assigned to transitions of exchange-couple Fe3+ pairs in two different site combinations. Absorption spectra at variable temperatures and of samples which were oxidized and reduced were used to establish these assignments. Site assignments were based on intensity ratios in different polarizations according to the polarization of these transitions along the vector between the interacting cations. The 485 nm band occurs at an unusually low energy for Fe3+ in silicate minerals. Similar behavior was observed in the spectrum of coalingite, a Mg, Fe-hydroxy carbonate, and has been proposed to result from magnetic exchange in large, edge-shared octahedra. The antiferromagnetic exchange which is generally associated with intensity increases in Fe3+ clusters was confirmed by variable temperature magnetic susceptibility measurements. The Mossbauer spectrum of a red tourmaline with 3.4% Fe exhibits an unusual decrease in width of peaks by ~30% from 298 K to 5 K which may be related to an unusual interaction between Fe3+ and trace amounts of Fe2+.

Optical absorption and Mossbauer studies of Fe2+-bearing tourmalines with variable Fe3+ contents were used to examine Fe2+ transitions which are intensified through an interaction with Fe3+ neighbors. The variation of molar absorptivity of Fe2+ bands with the fraction of Fe2+ in Fe2+-Fe3+ pairs indicates that Fe3+ ions increase the absorptivity of Fe2+ bands to ~1200 [...] as compared to ~5 [...] for non-interacting Fe2+. Approximately equal degrees of intensification were observed for both components of the [...] transition as well as for Fe2+ in two different sites. Although the detailed behavior of non-interacting Fe2+ ions differ in Mg-tourmalines and Li,Al-tourmalines, the characteristics of Fe2+-Fe3+ absorption are constant. Intensity increases were restricted to the polarization which coincided with the vector between the Fe2+ and Fe3+ ions. The intensified Fe2+ transitions are characterized by an unusual temperature response. The integrated intensity of these transitions increases by 10-50% at 83 K as compared to 296 K. The positions and widths of the intensified transitions maintain the values of the non-interacting Fe2+. Tourmalines with the lowest Fe3+ contents were the gemmy Li,Al-tourmalines which generally form in pockets within pegmatites. Fe,Mg-tourmalines exhibited consistently higher Fe3+ contents than any of the Li-bearing tourmalines examined. Oxidation of Fe2+ which resulted from gamma irradiation of blue Li-tourmalines which contained several percent each of Mn0 and Fe0 could be monitored by increases in Fe2+ intensity in one polarization.

Fe2+-Ti4+ charge transfer transitions were examined in minerals which contain stoichiometric quantities of Fe and Ti--taramellite, neptunite, and traskite--and tourmaline. The wavelength of these transitions ranged between 400 and 500 nm, and the halfwidths ranged between 7000 and 9000 [...]. These characteristics can generally be used to assign Fe2+-Ti4+ charge transfer transitions. The molar absorpitivities of these transitions, however, exhibit very large variations. The molar absorptivity of Fe2+-Ti4+ charge transfer in neptunite is ~225 [...] in beta polarization, in taramellite it is ~1300 [...] and in tourmaline it is ~4000 [...]. Tentative assignments of Fe2+-Ti4+ in more dilute minerals generally compare favorably with the energy and width stated above. However, sapphire and other Al-minerals such as kyanite have very different characteristics for bands assigned to Fe2+-Ti4+ charge transfer. The Fe2+-Ti4+ charge transfer transition in taramellite exhibits no change in integrated intensity with decreasing temperature but increases by 15% from 296 K to 83 K in tourmaline. Mn2+-Ti4+ charge transfer was also assigned to a transition at 320 nm in two unusual yellow tourmalines.

The characteristics of Fe2+-Fe3+ charge transfer transitions were reviewed in light of recent data and with regard to their utility as diagnostic criteria. A correlation between charge transfer energy and the separation of the interacting cations proposed by Smith and Strens (1976) could not be supported by the expanded data base. Temperature variations of charge transfer transition areas were also examined. The magnetic behavior of two minerals which exhibited different temperature responses were investigated. General agreement with the theories of Cox (1980) and Girered (1983) that suggest that ferromagnetic exchange should produce intensity increases at low temperature and that antiferromagnetic exchange produces intensity decreases was confirmed by these examples of Fe2+-Fe3+ charge transfer but could not explain the temperature response of Fe2+-Ti4+ charge transfer transitions. In any case, an increase in intensity with decreasing temperature, which is generally expected on the basis of experimental observations, cannot be used in a negative sense to eliminate a charge transfer assignment. The large width of charge transfer transitions is generally the most useful diagnostic criterion.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Geological and Planetary Sciences
Major Option:Geological and Planetary Sciences
Thesis Availability:Restricted to Caltech community only
Research Advisor(s):
  • Rossman, George Robert
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:11 January 1985
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-04082005-133814
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:1307
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:08 Apr 2005
Last Modified:26 Dec 2012 02:37

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