Original paper

An insight into crystal chemistry and cation order of columbite-(Fe) and columbite-(Mn) from worldwide occurrences

Balassone, Giuseppina; Danisi, Rosa Micaela; Armbruster, Thomas; Altomare, Angela; Moliterni, Anna Grazia; Petti, Carmela; Mondillo, Nicola; Ghiara, Maria Rosaria; Saviano, Michele

Neues Jahrbuch für Mineralogie - Abhandlungen Band 192 Heft 3 (2015), p. 275 - 287

published: Jul 1, 2015

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ArtNo. ESP154019203003, Price: 29.00 €

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A set of nine columbite samples (Fe,Mn)(Nb,Ta)2O6, preserved in the Mineralogical Museum, Naples University Federico II (Italy) and originating from several world-wide pegmatitic occurrences, was studied by electron-probe microanalysis and single crystal X-ray diffraction. All the samples are columbite-(Fe), except for two samples corresponding to columbite-(Mn). For seven samples Ta/(Nb+Ta) is < 0.05 and for two samples < 0.2. The (Ti+Sn)4+ content of all samples is < 0.12 pfu. Structure refinements showed that five samples displayed strong (Fe,Mn)2+ vs. (Nb,Ta)5+ disorder at the two octahedral sites A and B, whereas four samples were highly ordered. Two samples could be interpreted as “pseudo-ixiolite”. The degree of cation order at A and B was calculated from cell dimensions and scattering behaviour at A and B. Both methods are in good agreement. The octahedral coordination of (Nb,Ta)5+ in columbite is characterized by out-of-center distortion, thus the average distortion at the B site was probed by calculating the difference between the longest and shortest B-O distance. For a Nb-rich and (Ti,Sn)-poor data set, the min-max distortional parameter shows very good linear correlation with the order parameter calculated from site occupancy.


columbite-(mn)order-disorder behavioursingle crystal x-ray diffraction analysescolumbite-(fe)electron microprobe analyses