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Herbertsmithite

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Formula:
Cu
 
3
Zn(OH)
 
6
Cl
 
2
System:TrigonalColour:light green, blue-green, ...
Hardness:3 - 3½
Member of:Atacamite Group
Name:Honouring Dr. G. F. Herbert Smith (1872-1953) of the Natural History Museum, London, England, who discovered the mineral paratacamite.
Isostructural with:Gillardite


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

IMA status:Approved 2003
Strunz 8th edition ID:3/D.01-57
Nickel-Strunz 10th (pending) edition ID:3.DA.10c

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

Type Locality:Los Tres Presidentes Mine, Caracoles, Sierra Gorda District, Antofagasta Province, Antofagasta Region, Chile
General Appearance of Type 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

Lustre: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 (measured):3.85 - 3.95 g/cm3
Density (calculated):3.76 g/cm3

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:
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:
Cu
 
3
Zn(OH)
 
6
Cl
 
2
Simplified for copy/paste:Cu3Zn(OH)6Cl2
Essential elements:Cl, Cu, H, O, Zn
All elements listed in formula:Cl, Cu, H, O, Zn

Relationship of Herbertsmithite to other Species

Member of:Atacamite Group
Other Members of Group:

- +
Anatacamite
Cu
 
2
(OH)
 
3
Cl
Atacamite
Cu
 
2
(OH)
 
3
Cl
Botallackite
Cu
 
2
(OH)
 
3
Cl
Clinoatacamite
Cu
 
2
(OH)
 
3
Cl
Gillardite
Cu
 
3
Ni(OH)
 
6
Cl
 
2
Haydeeite
Cu
 
3
Mg(OH)
 
6
Cl
 
2
Iyoite
MnCuCl(OH)
 
3
Kapellasite
Cu
 
3
Zn(OH)
 
6
Cl
 
2
Leverettite
Cu
 
3
Co(OH)
 
6
Cl
 
2
Misakiite
Cu
 
3
Mn(OH)
 
6
Cl
 
2
Paratacamite
Cu
 
3
(Cu,Zn)(OH)
 
6
Cl
 
2
Paratacamite-(Mg)
Cu
 
3
(Mg,Cu)(OH)
 
6
Cl
 
2
Paratacamite-(Ni)
Cu
 
3
(Ni,Cu)(OH)
 
6
Cl
 
2
Tondiite
Cu
 
3
Mg(OH)
 
6
Cl
 
2
Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz Grouping):

- +
3.DA.05Melanothallite
Cu
 
2
Cl
 
2
O
3.DA.10aAtacamite
Cu
 
2
(OH)
 
3
Cl
3.DA.10bBotallackite
Cu
 
2
(OH)
 
3
Cl
3.DA.10bClinoatacamite
Cu
 
2
(OH)
 
3
Cl
3.DA.10aHibbingite
Fe
2+
2
(OH)
 
3
Cl
3.DA.10aKempite
Mn
2+
2
(OH)
 
3
Cl
3.DA.10cParatacamite
Cu
 
3
(Cu,Zn)(OH)
 
6
Cl
 
2
3.DA.10bBelloite
Cu(OH)Cl
3.DA.10cKapellasite
Cu
 
3
Zn(OH)
 
6
Cl
 
2
3.DA.10cGillardite
Cu
 
3
Ni(OH)
 
6
Cl
 
2
3.DA.10cHaydeeite
Cu
 
3
Mg(OH)
 
6
Cl
 
2
3.DA.10dAnatacamite
Cu
 
2
(OH)
 
3
Cl
3.DA.15Claringbullite
Cu
 
4
ClF(OH)
 
6
3.DA.15Barlowite
Cu
 
4
BrF(OH)
 
6
3.DA.20Simonkolleite
Zn
 
5
Cl
 
2
(OH)
 
8
· H
 
2
O
3.DA.25Buttgenbachite
Cu
 
19
(NO
 
3
)
 
2
(OH)
 
32
Cl
 
4
· 2H
 
2
O
3.DA.25Connellite
Cu
 
19
(SO
 
4
)(OH)
 
32
Cl
 
4
· 3H
 
2
O
3.DA.30Abhurite
Sn
 
21
Cl
 
16
(OH)
 
14
O
 
6
3.DA.35Ponomarevite
K
 
4
Cu
 
4
Cl
 
10
O
3.DA.40Anthonyite
Cu(OH,Cl)
 
2
· 3H
 
2
O
3.DA.40Calumetite
Cu(OH,Cl)
 
2
· 2H
 
2
O
3.DA.45Khaidarkanite
Na
 
0.34
Cu
 
4
Al
 
3
(OH)
 
14
F
 
3
· 2H
 
2
O
3.DA.50Bobkingite
Cu
 
5
Cl
 
2
(OH)
 
8
· 2H
 
2
O
3.DA.55Avdoninite
K
 
2
Cu
 
5
(OH)
 
4
Cl
 
8
· H
 
2
O
3.DA.60Droninoite
Ni
 
6
Fe
2+
3
(OH)
 
16
Cl
 
2
· 4H
 
2
O

Other Names for Herbertsmithite

Synonyms:
AnarakiteIMA2003-041
Other Languages:
German:Anarakit
Italian:Herbertsmithite
Simplified Chinese:氯羟锌铜石
Spanish:Anarakita
Traditional Chinese:氯羥鋅銅石

Other Information

Fluorescence in UV light:none
Health Warning: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

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  • Localities for Herbertsmithite

    The 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. ? 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.
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