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Title: Crystal chemistry of boron-containing minerals by single-crystal neutron diffraction
Authors: Gatta, GD
McIntyre, GJ
Keywords: Crystallography
Neutron absorbers
Neutron diffraction
Radioactive wastes
Coherent scattering
Radioactive materials
Issue Date: 15-Nov-2012
Citation: Gatta, G. D., & McIntyre, G. J. (2012). Crystal chemistry of boron-containing minerals by single-crystal neutron diffraction. Presented at AINSE-ANBUG 2012:10th Neutron Scattering Symposium (AANSS); Sydney, NSW (Australia); 7-9 Nov 2012. In 10th AINSE-ANBUG Neutron Scattering Symposium (AANSS) 2012, pp. 35.
Abstract: Many natural and highly stable minerals contain a significantly high amount of boron which makes their synthetic counterparts of interest as potential neutron absorbers or hosts for storage of nuclear waste. Examples include londonite, with ideal formula (Cs,K)Al4Be4(B,Be)12O28, and hambergite, with formula Be2BO3(OH)0.96F0.04. Single-crystal neutron diffraction is well suited to determining the B/Be distribution and the presence or location of H atoms in these minerals but the high neutron attenuation of B requires very short neutron wavelengths and/or crystal volumes that are considerably smaller than those traditionally desired for neutron diffraction. Here we describe the principal novel neutron diffraction techniques that we used to determine the complete crystal structures of londonite and hambergite. For londonite, neutron Laue diffraction on OrientExpress at the Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL), Grenoble, was an efficient way to select a good quality small crystal for further study on the monochromatic diffractometer D9, also at the ILL, at the short wavelength of 0.7058 A from the hot neutron source. For hambergite, neutron Laue diffraction using KOALA at the OPAL reactor at ANSTO, yielded excellent diffraction data within 36 hours from two small crystals, 2 mm3 in volume.
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