Cation partitioning in Mg0.70Fe0.23Al1.97O4 synthetic spinels by in situ neutron powder diffraction

G. Artioli, A. Pavese, D. Levy, U. Russo, A. Hoser

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Neutron powder diffraction experiments in the temperature range 300-1770 K were performed at BENSC, Berlin, Germany, on synthetic Mg4.70Fe0.23;Al1.97O4. The cation partitioning over the crystallographic tetrahedral and octahedral sites was determined as a function of temperature through joint Rietveld refinements and advanced minimization techniques. The thermal expansion coefficients of the lattice parameter and inter-atomic bond lengths were also obtained from the full-profile structural refinements. The behaviour of the polyhedral bond-lengths, especially the T-O distances, and of the cell constant upon heating, clearly indicate that the interdiffusion of tetrahedral and octahedral Mg/Al cations starts at about 947 K. This result is straightforwardly supported by the direct analysis of the neutron site scattering factors: Fe always retains tetrahedral coordination at all temperatures, and the cation rearrangement is entirely due to Mg and Al intracrystalline diffusion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)692-697
Number of pages6
JournalMaterials Science Forum
Issue numberPART 2
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Cation Partitioning
  • High Temperature
  • Neutron Powder Diffraction
  • Spinel


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