Perturbative Theory of Mica Polytypism. Role of the M2 Layer in the Formation of Inhomogeneous Polytypes

Massimo Nespolo
Japan Science and Technology Corporation, National Institute for Research in Inorganic Materials, 1-1 Namiki, Tsukuba-shi, Ibaraki 305-0044, Japan
E-mail of corresponding author: nespolo@nirim.go.jp

Abstract: A new model is proposed to explain, within the framework of the theory of spiral growth of Frank, the formation on inhomogeneous mica polytypes. This model relates the interaction and cooperative growth of two components (spirals and/or crystals) to produce a new stacking sequence. Depending on the relative orientation between the two components, a mismatch of the interlayer positions occurs, which is compensated through either a growth defect or a crystallographic slip at the octahedral (O) sheet. Both these adjustments transform the M1 layer into the M2 layer. These two types of layers have the same chemical composition but differ in cation distribution in the O sheet. The coalescence and cooperative growth of crystals occurs in fluid-rich environments and is most frequent in druses and volcanic fumaroles. These environments favor the inhomogeneous polytypes, especially those with complex stacking sequences. In addition, the M1 → M2 transformation is most probable in micas with an oxybiotitic composition, where the removal of the OH dipole strengthens the interlayer bonding and the presence of high-charge cations destabilizes the O sheet. Three examples of inhomogeneous polytypes of titaniferous oxybiotite from Ruiz Peak (a volcanic environment where many inhomogeneous polytypes have been reported) are presented.

Key Words: Crystal Growth • Long-Period Polytypes • Mica • Polytypism

Clays and Clay Minerals; February 2001 v. 49; no. 1; p. 1-23; DOI: 10.1346/CCMN.2001.0490101
© 2001, The Clay Minerals Society
Clay Minerals Society (www.clays.org)