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Zeitschrift für Kristallographie - Crystalline Materials

Editor-in-Chief: Pöttgen, Rainer

Ed. by Antipov, Evgeny / Bismayer, Ulrich / Boldyreva, Elena V. / Huppertz, Hubert / Petrícek, Václav / Tiekink, E. R. T.

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Crystal structure of fabianite, CaB3O5(OH), and comparison with the structure of its synthetic dimorph*

Judith A. Konnert / Joan R. Clark / C. L. Christ

Citation Information: Zeitschrift für Kristallographie. Volume 132, Issue 1-6, Pages 241–254, ISSN (Online) 0044-2968, ISSN (Print) 1433-7266, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1524/zkri.1970.132.1-6.241, July 2010

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The crystal structure of fabianite, CaB3O5(OH), from salt deposits near Diepholz, Germany, has been solved by Patterson and electron-density syntheses using about 1300 reflections. Least-squares refinement reduced the residual to 0.075. Fabianite is monoclinic, P21/a, a = 6.593, b = 10.488, c = 6.365 Å, β = 113.38°, Z = 4, density (calc.) 2.788 g/cm3. The structure contains infinite sheets of composition [B3O5(OH)]n−2n, similar to those previously found in the synthetic orthorhombic dimorph. The sheets are formed by cross-linking colemanite-like chains. In fabianite Ca is coordinated by two hydroxyl ions and six oxygen atoms; the polyhedra share edges to form infinite chains along a that link polyanion sheets together. In synthetic CaB3O5(OH), Ca is coordinated by two hydroxyl ions and only five oxygen atoms; the polyhedra form chains by corner-sharing only. Hence, although the Ca–O bonding holds adjacent sheets together in each structure, the packing is much more compact in the mineral. Both structures have probable hydrogen bonds from a hydroxyl ion of one sheet to an oxygen ion of an adjacent sheet, but the 2.76 Å bond in the mineral is obviously stronger than the longer 2.94 Å bond in the synthetic dimorph.

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