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Herbertsmithite

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Formula:
Cu3Zn(OH)6Cl2
System:
Trigonal
Colour:
light green, blue-green, ...
Hardness:
3 - 3½
Member of:
Name:
Honouring Dr. G. F. Herbert Smith (1872-1953) of the Natural History Museum, London, England, who discovered the mineral paratacamite.
Isostructural with:
Atacamite Group.
A polymorph of (metastable) kapellasite.
Closely related to paratacamite.
On heating paratacamite reversibly transforms into herbertsmithite between 353 and 393 K (Welch et al., 2014).

The Zn analogue of gillardite and leverettite.

This mineral gained attention in March 2007 when it was reported that it has very specific and unusual physical properties that make it behave as a new type of matter (see references).

Classification of Herbertsmithite

Approved 2003
3.DA.10c

3 : HALIDES
D : Oxyhalides, hydroxyhalides and related double halides
A : With Cu, etc., without Pb
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First Recorded Occurrence of Herbertsmithite

General Appearance of First Recorded Material:
Rhombohedrons to 1.5 mm across.
Year of Discovery:
1972

Occurrences of Herbertsmithite

Geological Setting:
Copper mineralizations in syenitic porphyries and granites, hosted by triassic dolomites (Anarak, Iran)

Physical Properties of Herbertsmithite

Vitreous
Diaphaneity (Transparency):
Transparent
Colour:
light green, blue-green, emerald green
Streak:
light green
Hardness (Mohs):
3 - 3½
Tenacity:
Brittle
Cleavage:
Distinct/Good
on {10_11}
Density:
3.85 - 3.95 g/cm3 (Measured)    3.76 g/cm3 (Calculated)

Crystallography of Herbertsmithite

Crystal System:
Trigonal
Class (H-M):
3m (3 2/m) - Hexagonal Scalenohedral
Space Group:
R3m
Cell Parameters:
a = 6.834Å, c = 14.075Å
Ratio:
a:c = 1 : 2.06
Unit Cell Volume:
V 569.28 ų
Z:
3
Morphology:
Platy, pseudohexagonal crystals to 0.5 mm (Iran); rhombohedrons and pseudo-octahedra to 1.5 mm (Chile).
X-Ray Powder Diffraction Data:
d-spacingIntensity
5.466 (55)
4.702 (14)
2.899 (11)
2.764 (100)
2.730 (13)
2.266 (36)
1.820 (13)
1.709 (18)
Comments:
XRD pattern quite similar to those for atacamite, clinoatacamite and paratacamite, but herbertsmithite is readily distinguished from these by infrared spectroscopy and SXRD

Chemical Properties of Herbertsmithite

Formula:
Cu3Zn(OH)6Cl2
Essential elements:
All elements listed in formula:

Relationship of Herbertsmithite to other Species

Member of:
Other Members of Group:
AnatacamiteCu2(OH)3Cl
AtacamiteCu2(OH)3Cl
BotallackiteCu2(OH)3Cl
ClinoatacamiteCu2(OH)3Cl
GillarditeCu3Ni(OH)6Cl2
HaydeeiteCu3Mg(OH)6Cl2
IyoiteMnCuCl(OH)3
KapellasiteCu3Zn(OH)6Cl2
LeverettiteCu3Co(OH)6Cl2
MisakiiteCu3Mn(OH)6Cl2
ParatacamiteCu3(Cu,Zn)(OH)6Cl2
Paratacamite-(Mg)Cu3(Mg,Cu)(OH)6Cl2
Paratacamite-(Ni)Cu3(Ni,Cu)(OH)6Cl2
TondiiteCu3Mg(OH)6Cl2
3.DA.05MelanothalliteCu2Cl2O
3.DA.10aAtacamiteCu2(OH)3Cl
3.DA.10bBotallackiteCu2(OH)3Cl
3.DA.10bClinoatacamiteCu2(OH)3Cl
3.DA.10aHibbingiteFe22+(OH)3Cl
3.DA.10aKempiteMn22+(OH)3Cl
3.DA.10cParatacamiteCu3(Cu,Zn)(OH)6Cl2
3.DA.10bBelloiteCu(OH)Cl
3.DA.10cKapellasiteCu3Zn(OH)6Cl2
3.DA.10cGillarditeCu3Ni(OH)6Cl2
3.DA.10cHaydeeiteCu3Mg(OH)6Cl2
3.DA.10dAnatacamiteCu2(OH)3Cl
3.DA.15ClaringbulliteCu4ClF(OH)6
3.DA.15BarlowiteCu4BrF(OH)6
3.DA.20SimonkolleiteZn5Cl2(OH)8 · H2O
3.DA.25ButtgenbachiteCu19(NO3)2(OH)32Cl4 · 2H2O
3.DA.25ConnelliteCu19(SO4)(OH)32Cl4 · 3H2O
3.DA.30AbhuriteSn21Cl16(OH)14O6
3.DA.35PonomareviteK4Cu4Cl10O
3.DA.40AnthonyiteCu(OH,Cl)2 · 3H2O
3.DA.40CalumetiteCu(OH,Cl)2 · 2H2O
3.DA.45KhaidarkaniteNa0.34Cu4Al3(OH)14F3 · 2H2O
3.DA.50BobkingiteCu5Cl2(OH)8 · 2H2O
3.DA.55AvdoniniteK2Cu5(OH)4Cl8 · H2O
3.DA.60DroninoiteNi6Fe32+(OH)16Cl2 · 4H2O

Other Names for Herbertsmithite

Name in Other Languages:
German:Anarakit
Simplified Chinese:氯羟锌铜石
Spanish:Anarakita
Traditional Chinese:氯羥鋅銅石

Other Information

Health Risks:
No information on health risks for this material has been entered into the database. You should always treat mineral specimens with care.

References for Herbertsmithite

Reference List:
Braithwaite, R.S.W., Mereiter, K., Paar, W.H. and Clark, A.M. (2004) Herbertsmithite, Cu3Zn(OH)6Cl2, a new species, and the definition of paratacamite. Mineralogical Magazine, 68, 527-539.

Weiß, S. (2004): Lapis: 29(12): 38-39.

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg19325954.200

Helton, J.S., Matan, K., Shores, M.P., Nytko, E.A., Bartlett, B.M., Yoshida, Y., Takano, Y., Suslov, A., Qiu, Y., Chung, J.-H., Nocera, D.G., and Lee, Y.S. (2007) Spin Dynamics of the Spin-1/2 Kagomé Lattice Antiferromagnet ZnCu3(OH)6Cl2. Physical Review Letters 98, 107204. [http://arxiv.org/pdf/cond-mat/0610539v4]

F Bert, A Olariu, A Zorko, P Mendels, J C Trombe, F Duc, M A de Vries, A Harrison, A D Hillier, J Lord, A Amato and C Baines (2009): Frustrated magnetism in the quantum Kagome Herbertsmithite ZnCu3(OH)6Cl2 antiferromagnet. J. Phys.: Conf. Ser. 145, 012004.

Danna E. Freedman, Tianheng H. Han, Andrea Prodi, Peter Müller, Qing-Zhen Huang, Yu-Sheng Chen, Samuel M. Webb, Young S. Lee, Tyrel M. McQueen, and Daniel G. Nocera (2010): Site specific X-ray anomalous dispersion of the geometrically frustrated kagomé magnet, herbertsmithite, ZnCu3(OH)6Cl2. J. Am. Chem. Soc., 132, 16185-16190.

Oren Ofer, Amit Keren, Jess H Brewer, Tianheng H Han and Young S Lee (2011): The Herbertsmithite Hamiltonian: μSR measurements on single crystals. J. Phys.: Condens. Matter 23, 164207.

Philippe Mendels and Fabrice Bert (2011): Quantum kagome antiferromagnet : ZnCu3(OH)6Cl2. J. Phys.: Conf. Ser. 320, 012004.

V. R. Shaginyan, A. Z. Msezane, K. G. Popov, G. S. Japaridze and V. A. Stephanovich (2012): Identification of strongly correlated spin liquid in herbertsmithite. EPL 97, 5600.

G J Nilsen, M A de Vries, J R Stewart, A Harrison and H M Rønnow (2013): Low-energy spin dynamics of the s = 1/2 kagome system herbertsmithite. J. Phys.: Condens. Matter 25, 106001.

Welch, M.D., Sciberras, M.J., Williams, P.A., Leverett, P., Schlüter, J., Malcherek, T. (2014): A temperature-induced reversible transformation between paratacamite and herbertsmithite. Physics and Chemistry of Minerals, 41, 33-48.

Internet Links for Herbertsmithite

Localities for Herbertsmithite

map shows a selection of localities that have latitude and longitude coordinates recorded. Click on the symbol to view information about a locality. The symbol next to localities in the list can be used to jump to that position on the map.
(TL) indicates type locality for a valid mineral species. (FRL) indicates first recorded locality for everything else. ? indicates mineral may be doubtful at this locality. All other localities listed without reference should be considered as uncertain and unproven until references can be found.
Chile
 
  • Antofagasta Region
    • Antofagasta Province
      • Cerro Palestina
        • Estación Cerro Negro
          • Magallanes district
Samples analysed by Dr. Jochen Schluter (Hamburg University), Germany.
Samples analysed by Dr. Jochen Schluter (Hamburg University), Germany.
      • Sierra Gorda District
        • Caracoles
S. Weiß: Lapis (2004): 29(12): 38-39.
Samples analysed by Dr. Jochen Schluter (Hamburg University), Germany.
S. Weiß: Lapis 29(12):38-39 (2004); Uwe Kolitsch (single-crystal structure refinement)
R. S. W. Braithwaite et al.: Min. Mag. 68(3):527-539 (2004)
S. Weiß: Lapis 29(12):38-39 (2004); Uwe Kolitsch (single-crystal structure refinement)
          • Sierra Deseada
Luigi Mattei specimen
  • Tarapacá Region
    • El Tamarugal Province
      • Challacollo
maurizio dini collection - analysed material
      • Pampa del Tamarugal
sample analysed by Tony Kampf, senior curator of NHM of LAC, California
      • Quebrada Maní
Samples analysed by Dr. Jochen Schluter (Hamburg University), Germany.
Greece
 
  • Attikí Prefecture (Attica; Attika)
    • Lavrion District (Laurion; Laurium)
      • Lavrion District Mines
        • Sounion area
          • Sounion Mines
W. Krause, H.-J. Bernhardt, R. S. W. Braithwaite, U. Kolitsch and R. Pritchard (2006): Kapellasite, Cu3Zn(OH)6Cl2, a new mineral from Lavrion, Greece. Mineral. Mag. 70, 331-342; Kolitsch, U., Rieck, B., Brandstätter, F., Schreiber, F., Fabritz, K. H., Blaß, G. & Gröbner, J. (2014): Neufunde aus dem altem Bergbau und den Schlacken von Lavrion (I). Mineralien-Welt 25 (1), 60-75 (in German).
Iran
 
  • Esfahan Province (Isfahan Province; Aspadana Province)
    • Nain County (Nayin County)
      • Anarak District
S. Weiß: Lapis 29(12):38-39 (2004)
S. Weiß: Lapis 29(12):38-39 (2004)
  • South Khorasan Province
    • Nehbandan
Vachik Hairapetian collection
USA
 
  • Arizona
    • Maricopa Co.
      • Big Horn Mts
        • Osborn District
          • Tonopah
            • Belmont Mountain
Analyzed by the University of Arizona.
Mineral and/or Locality  
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