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Title: Nano-scale synthesis of the complex silicate minerals forsterite and enstatite

Olivine is a relatively common family of silicate minerals in many terrestrial and extraterrestrial environments, and is also useful as a refractory ceramic. A capability to synthesize fine particles of olivine will enable additional studies on surface reactivity under geologically relevant conditions. This paper presents a method for the synthesis of nanocrystalline samples of the magnesium end-member, forsterite (Mg 2SiO 4) in relatively large batches (15–20 g) using a sol-gel/surfactant approach. Magnesium methoxide and tetraethylorthosilicate (TEOS) are refluxed in a toluene/methanol mixture using dodecylamine as a surfactant and tert-butyl amine and water as hydrolysis agents. This material is then cleaned and dried, and fired at 800 °C. Post-firing reaction in hydrogen peroxide was used to remove residual organic surfactant. X-ray diffraction showed that a pure material resulted, with a BET surface area of up to 76.6 m 2/g. Finally, the results of a preliminary attempt to use this approach to synthesize nano-scale orthopyroxene (MgSiO 3) are also reported.
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [1]
  1. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
  2. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Univ. of Gothenburg, Gothenburg (Sweden)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Colloid and Interface Science
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 495; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0021-9797
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; 58 GEOSCIENCES; forsterite; enstatite; olivine; pyroxene; orthopyroxene; clinopyroxene; nanosynthesis
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1411824