Investigation of synthetic Mg1.3V1.7O4 spinel with MgO inclusions: Case study of a spinel with an apparently occupied interstitial site

Hinako Uchida, Kevin Righter, Barbara Lavina, Matthew M. Nowell, Stuart I. Wright, Robert T. Downs, Hexiong Yang

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8 Scopus citations


A magnesium vanadate spinel crystal, ideally MgV2O4, synthesized at 1 bar, 1200 °C and equilibrated under FMQ + 1.3 log fo2 condition, was investigated using single-crystal X-ray diffraction, electron microprobe, and electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD). The initial X-ray structure refinements gave tetrahedral and octahedral site occupancies of T(Mg0.9660.034) and M(V0.7113+ V0.1094+Mg0.180), respectively, along with the presence of 0.053 apfu Mg at an interstitial octahedral site (16c). Back-scattered electron (BSE) images and electron microprobe analyses revealed the existence of an Mg-rich phase in the spinel matrix, which was too small (≤3 μm) for an accurate chemical determination. The EBSD analysis combined with X-ray energy dispersive spectroscopy (XEDS) suggested that the Mg-rich inclusions are periclase oriented coherently with the spinel matrix. The final structure refinements were optimized by subtracting the X-ray intensity contributions (∼9%) of periclase reflections, which eliminated the interstitial Mg, yielding a structural formula for spinel TMgM(V1.3683+ V0.3164+Mg0.316)O4. This study provides insight into possible origins of refined interstitial cations reported in the literature for spinel, and points to the difficulty of using only X-ray diffraction data to distinguish a spinel with interstitial cations from one with coherently oriented MgO inclusions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1031-1037
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Mineralogist
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2007


  • Crystal chemistry
  • Electron backscatter diffraction
  • Inclusion
  • Periclase
  • Spinel
  • XRD

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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