Structure of the new mineral sarrabusite, Pb5CuCl4(SeO3)4, solved by manual electron-diffraction tomography

Acta Crystallogr B. 2012 Feb;68(Pt 1):15-23. doi: 10.1107/S010876811104688X. Epub 2012 Jan 6.


The new mineral sarrabusite Pb(5)CuCl(4)(SeO(3))(4) has been discovered in the Sardinian mine of Baccu Locci, near Villaputzu. It occurs as small lemon-yellow spherical aggregates of tabular crystals (< 10 µm) of less than 100 µm in diameter. The crystal structure has been solved from and refined against electron diffraction of a microcrystal. Data sets have been measured by both a manual and an automated version of the new electron-diffraction tomography technique combined with the precession of the electron beam. The sarrabusite structure is monoclinic and consists of (010) layers of straight chains formed by alternating edge-sharing CuO(4)Cl(2) and PbO(8) polyhedra parallel to the c axis, which share corners laterally with two zigzag corner-sharing chains of PbO(6)Cl(2) and PbO(4)Cl(4) bicapped trigonal prisms. These blocks are linked together by SeO(3)(2-) flat-pyramidal groups.