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Molybdenite

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Formula:
MoS
 
2
System:HexagonalColour:Black, lead gray, or gray
Lustre:MetallicHardness:1 - 1½
Member of:Molybdenite Group
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

IMA status:Valid - first described prior to 1959 (pre-IMA) - "Grandfathered"
Strunz 8th edition ID:2/D.25-10
Nickel-Strunz 10th (pending) edition ID: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 edition ID:2.12.10.1
Dana 8th edition ID:2.12.10.1

2 : SULFIDES
12 : AmBnXp, with (m+n):p = 1:2
Hey's CIM Ref.: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

Lustre: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 (measured):4.62 - 4.73 g/cm3
Density (calculated):4.998 g/cm3

Crystallography of Molybdenite

Crystal System:Hexagonal
Class (H-M):6/mmm (6/m 2/m 2/m) - Dihexagonal Dipyramidal
Space Group:P63/mmc {P63/m 2/m 2/c}
Cell Parameters:a = 3.16Å, c = 12.3Å
Ratio:a:c = 1 : 3.892
Unit Cell Volume:V 106.37 ų
Z:2
Morphology:Tabular crystals, flakes
Crystal Atlas:
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Molybdenite - Tabular {001}
Molybdenite - Thick tabular {001}

About Crystal Atlas

The mindat.org Crystal Atlas allows you to view a selection of crystal drawings of real and idealised crystal forms for this mineral and, in certain cases, 3d rotating crystal objects. The 3d models and HTML5 code are kindly provided by www.smorf.nl.

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Edge Lines | Miller Indicies | Axes

Transparency
Opaque | Translucent | Transparent

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Along a-axis | Along b-axis | Along c-axis | Start rotation | Stop rotation
X-Ray Powder Diffraction:
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Radiation - Copper Kα
Data Set:
Horizontal Axis: ° to ° Vertical Axis: % Source Data: Filtered Data:
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:
MoS
 
2
Simplified for copy/paste:MoS2
Essential elements:Mo, S
All elements listed in formula:Mo, S
CAS Registry number:1317-33-5

CAS Registry numbers are published by the American Chemical Society

Relationship of Molybdenite to other Species

Member of:Molybdenite Group
Other Members of Group:

- +
Drysdallite
Mo(Se,S)
 
2
Tungstenite
WS
 
2
Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz Grouping):

- +
2.EA.05Sylvanite
(Au,Ag)
 
2
Te
 
4
2.EA.10Calaverite
AuTe
 
2
2.EA.15Kostovite
CuAuTe
 
4
2.EA.15Krennerite
(Au,Ag)Te
 
2
2.EA.20Berndtite
SnS
 
2
2.EA.20Kitkaite
NiTeSe
2.EA.20Melonite
NiTe
 
2
2.EA.20Merenskyite
(Pd,Pt)(Te,Bi)
 
2
2.EA.20Moncheite
(Pt,Pd)(Te,Bi)
 
2
2.EA.20Shuangfengite
IrTe
 
2
2.EA.20Sudovikovite
PtSe
 
2
2.EA.25Verbeekite
PdSe
 
2
2.EA.30Drysdallite
Mo(Se,S)
 
2
2.EA.30Jordisite
MoS
 
2
2.EA.30Tungstenite
WS
 
2
Related Minerals - Hey's Index Grouping:

- +
3.8.1Brezinaite
Cr
 
3
S
 
4
3.8.2Caswellsilverite
NaCrS
 
2
3.8.3Kalininite
ZnCr
 
2
S
 
4
3.8.4Daubréelite
Fe
2+
 
Cr
3+
2
S
 
4
3.8.5Heideite
(Fe,Cr)
 
1.15
(Ti,Fe)
 
2
S
 
4
3.8.7 Molybdenite-3R
MoS
 
2
3.8.8Jordisite
MoS
 
2
3.8.9Drysdallite
Mo(Se,S)
 
2
3.8.10Tungstenite
WS
 
2
3.8.12Alabandite
Mn
2+
 
S
3.8.13Hauerite
MnS
 
2
3.8.14Manganoshadlunite
(Mn,Pb,Cd)(Cu,Fe)
 
8
S
 
8

Other Names for Molybdenite

Other Languages:
Basque:Molibdenita
Catalan:Molibdenita
Dutch:Molybdeniet
Finnish:Molybdeenihohde
French:Molybdénite
German:Molybdänglanz
Eutomglanz
Molybdänit
Molybdenit
Hungarian:Molibdenit
Italian:Molibdenite
Japanese:輝水鉛鉱
Lithuanian:Molibdenitas
Polish:Molibdenit
Portuguese:Molibdenite
Russian:Молибденит
Simplified Chinese:辉钼矿
Slovak:Molybdenit
Spanish:Molibdenita
Swedish:Molybdenglans
Ukrainian:Молібденіт
Varieties:
FemoliteRhenian Molybdenite

Polytypes for Molybdenite

Polytypes:
Molybdenite-2HMolybdenite-3R

Other Information

Health Warning:No information on health risks for this material has been entered into the database. You should always treat mineral specimens with care.
External LinksSearch for toxicity information at the United States National Library of Medicine

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

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

Internet Links for Molybdenite

Search Engines:
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  • External Links:
  • Look for Molybdenite on Webmineral
  • Look for Molybdenite on Athena Mineralogy
  • Look for Molybdenite on Wikipedia
  • Look for Molybdenite on Mineralien Atlas
  • Raman and XRD data at RRUFF project
  • American Mineralogist Crystal Structure Database
  • Molybdenite details from Handbook of Mineralogy (PDF)
  • Mineral Dealers:
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  • DAKOTA MATRIX offers Cabinet and Rare Species from Worldwide Localities.
  • SpiriferMinerals.com - high quality low prices
  • Specimens:The following Molybdenite specimens are currently listed for sale on minfind.com.

    Localities for Molybdenite

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