Stacking disorder is a common phenomenon in phyllosilicates but its nature is difficult to be deduced using conventional diffraction techniques. In contrast, recent investigations using high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) have elucidated the structure of stacking disorder in various phyllosilicates, by directly observing individual layers and stacking sequences. Furthermore, simulations of X-ray or electron diffraction patterns using the information from the HRTEM results can complement the limited analysis area in TEM and quantify the density of the stacking disorder.
Although the bonding between adjacent layers is similar, there is a significant difference in the stacking disorder between two counterparts of dioctahedral and trioctahedral 2 : 1 phyllosilicates: pyrophyllite vs. talc and sudoite vs. trioctahedral chlorite. In pyrophyllite and sudoite, stacking disorder is caused mainly by two alternatives of the lateral displacement directions between the two tetrahedral sheets across the interlayer region. On the other hand, rotation of 2 : 1 layer is also an origin of the stacking disorder in talc and trioctahedral chlorite. This difference is explained by the corrugation of basal oxygen planes on the dioctahedral 2 : 1 layer formed by the tetrahedral tilting to enlarge trans-vacant octahedral sites.
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