Determination of iron sites and the amount of amorphization in radiation-damaged titanite (CaSiTiO5)

E. K.H. Salje, D. J. Safarik, R. D. Taylor, M. P. Pasternak, K. A. Modic, L. A. Groat, J. C. Lashley

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Iron is a ubiquitous impurity in metamict (radiation-damaged and partially amorphized) materials such as titanite (CaSiTiO5). Using 57Fe Mössbauer spectroscopy we find that iron in metamict titanite is partitioned between amorphous and crystalline regions based on valence. Trivalent iron exists in the crystalline titanite matrix whereas divalent iron exists almost exclusively in radiation-amorphized regions. We find that the relative abundances of the oxidation states correlate with the volume fraction of amorphous and crystalline regions. Our data also show that oxidation of iron proceeds along with the recrystallization of the amorphized regions. Recrystallization is confirmed to occur over the range 700 °C < T < 925 °C, and no further structural changes are observed at higher temperatures. It is surprising that our Mössbauer measurements show divalent iron to be surrounded by titanite with a high degree of short-range structural order in the amorphized regions. This observation is fundamentally different from other metamict materials such as zircon (ZrSiO4), where amorphized regions show no short-range order.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105402
JournalJournal of Physics Condensed Matter
Issue number10
StatePublished - 16 Mar 2011


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