Abstract: Previous studies of the line profiles of the basal reflections of microcrystalline muscovites were refined by an adaptation of the method developed by Maire and Méring. In order to evaluate the variation of interlayer spacings, the method required only relative values of Fourier coefficients, without the correction for instrumental broadening, which was the source of one of the most critical problems previously. Instead of Kα radiation, Kβ radiation was used to record line profiles since difficulties associated with the separation of Kα1 and Kα2 radiations could not be overcome satisfactorily.
The data reconfirmed that the line broadening of 00l reflections was due not only to a small particle-size effect, but also to structural disorders involving the variation of the interlayer spacings. For the four specimens investigated here, the mean squares of the variation of interlayer spacings ranged from 0 to 0·0358, the square roots of which were inversely proportional to the total number of interlayer cations. It is considered that the observed distortions were mainly attributed to non-uniform interlayer spaces between silicate layers arising from an irregular distribution of interlayer cations. The data also indicated that the crystallites of all four specimens consisted of a similar number of layers. The method showed promise for the study of the nature and extent of structural disorders in micas or other silicate minerals.