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Molybdenite

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Formula:
MoS2
System:
Hexagonal
Colour:
Black, lead gray, or gray
Lustre:
Metallic
Hardness:
1 - 1½
Name:
Variations of the name molybdaena and molybdenite were used for lead ores by Dioscorides (50-70 CE), Pliny the Elder (79 CE), and Agricola (1556), but the modern use of molybdenite did not begin until Johan Gottschalk Wallerius wrote about molybdenite in Mineralogia, eller Mineralriket published in 1747. There was still a multiplicity of minerals receiving the same name, but modern molybdenite and graphite were the most common minerals given this name. The element molybdenum was discovered by Carl Welhelm Scheele in 1778 and he provided molybdenite to Peter Jacob Hjelm who was able to isolate molybdenum in 1781. Scheele showed that molybdenite, in the modern sense, was soluble in acid, while graphite was not. From the Greek μόλυβδοζ meaning "lead", but a name having a new usage unlike that of former times.
Molybdenite is the most important ore of the metal molybdenum. Molybdenite is currently being researched as a possible replacement semiconductor for silicon in transistors in electronic chips.

Two polytypes are known: molybdenite-2H (very common) and molybdenite-3R (rare).

Classification of Molybdenite

Valid - first described prior to 1959 (pre-IMA) - "Grandfathered"
2.EA.30

2 : SULFIDES and SULFOSALTS (sulfides, selenides, tellurides; arsenides, antimonides, bismuthides; sulfarsenites, sulfantimonites, sulfbismuthites, etc.)
E : Metal Sulfides, M: S <= 1:2
A : M:S = 1:2 - With Cu, Ag, Au
Dana 7th ed.:
2.12.10.1
2.12.10.1

2 : SULFIDES
12 : AmBnXp, with (m+n):p = 1:2
3.8.6

3 : Sulphides, Selenides, Tellurides, Arsenides and Bismuthides (except the arsenides, antimonides and bismuthides of Cu, Ag and Au, which are included in Section 1)
8 : Sulphides etc. of Cr, Mo, W an Mn
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Physical Properties of Molybdenite

Metallic
Diaphaneity (Transparency):
Opaque
Colour:
Black, lead gray, or gray
Comment:
Pale yellow to deepish reddish brown in transmitted light
Streak:
Bluish gray
Hardness (Mohs):
1 - 1½
Tenacity:
Flexible
Cleavage:
Perfect
Perfect on {0001}
Density:
4.62 - 4.73 g/cm3 (Measured)    4.998 g/cm3 (Calculated)

Crystallography of Molybdenite

Polytype:
Formula:
Crystal System:
Class (H-M)
Space Group:
Space Group Setting:
Cell Parameters:
Ratio:
Unit Cell Volume (calc):
Z:
Molybdenite-2HMolybdenite-3R
 MoS2
 Trigonal 
3m - Ditrigonal Pyramidal
 R3m
  

a = 3.16Å, c = 18.33Å
 a:c = 1 : 5.801
 V 158.51 ų
(Calculated from Unit Cell)
 3

Crystallographic forms of Molybdenite

Crystal Atlas:
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Molybdenite - Tabular {001}
Molybdenite - Thick tabular {001}
3d models and HTML5 code kindly provided by www.smorf.nl.

Toggle
Edge Lines | Miller Indicies | Axes

Transparency
Opaque | Translucent | Transparent

View
Along a-axis | Along b-axis | Along c-axis | Start rotation | Stop rotation
X-Ray Powder Diffraction:
Image Loading

Radiation - Copper Kα
Data Set:
Data courtesy of RRUFF project at University of Arizona, used with permission.

Optical Data of Molybdenite

Type:
Anisotropic
Anisotropism:
Very strong
Pleochroism:
Strong

Chemical Properties of Molybdenite

Formula:
MoS2
Essential elements:
All elements listed in formula:
CAS Registry number:
1317-33-5

CAS Registry numbers are published by the American Chemical Society

Relationship of Molybdenite to other Species

Other Members of Group:
2.EA.05Sylvanite(Au,Ag)2Te4
2.EA.10CalaveriteAuTe2
2.EA.15KostoviteCuAuTe4
2.EA.15KrenneriteAu3AgTe8
2.EA.20BerndtiteSnS2
2.EA.20KitkaiteNiTeSe
2.EA.20MeloniteNiTe2
2.EA.20Merenskyite(Pd,Pt)(Te,Bi)2
2.EA.20Moncheite(Pt,Pd)(Te,Bi)2
2.EA.20ShuangfengiteIrTe2
2.EA.20SudovikovitePtSe2
2.EA.25VerbeekitePdSe2
2.EA.30DrysdalliteMo(Se,S)2
2.EA.30JordisiteMoS2
2.EA.30TungsteniteWS2
3.8.1BrezinaiteCr3S4
3.8.2CaswellsilveriteNaCrS2
3.8.3KalininiteZnCr2S4
3.8.4DaubréeliteFe2+Cr23+S4
3.8.5Heideite(Fe,Cr)1.15(Ti,Fe)2S4
3.8.7 Molybdenite-3RMoS2
3.8.8JordisiteMoS2
3.8.9DrysdalliteMo(Se,S)2
3.8.10TungsteniteWS2
3.8.12AlabanditeMnS
3.8.13HaueriteMnS2
3.8.14Manganoshadlunite(Mn,Pb,Cd)(Cu,Fe)8S8

Other Names for Molybdenite

Name in Other Languages:

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 Molybdenite

Reference List:
Palache, Charles, Harry Berman & Clifford Frondel (1944), The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana Yale University 1837-1892, Volume I: Elements, Sulfides, Sulfosalts, Oxides. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York. 7th edition, revised and enlarged: 328-331.

American Mineralogist (1963): 48: 1419.

Schweizerische mineralogische und petrographische Mitteilungen (1964): 44: 123.

Frondel, J.W. & Wickman, F.E. (1970): Molybdenite polytypes in theory and occurrence. II: Some naturally occurring polytypes of molybdenite. American Mineralogist 55, 1857-1875.

Golden, J., McMillan, M., Downs, R.T., Hystad, G., Goldstein, I., Stein, H.J., Zimmerman, A., Sverjensky, D.A., Armstrong, J.T., Hazen, R.M. (2013): Rhenium variations in molybdenite (MoS2): Evidence for progressive subsurface oxidation. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 366, 1-5.

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-01/epfd-nta012811.php

Internet Links for Molybdenite

Specimens:
The following Molybdenite specimens are currently listed for sale on minfind.com.

Localities for Molybdenite

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.
Mineral and/or Locality  
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