New Natural Quasi Crystal Located

Quasiperiodic crystals, often just just called quasi crystals, are a substance that has the properties of a crystal in that it can grow theoretically forever filling all available space as it does but lacks the ordered structure that a crystal should possess. It isn’t amorphous as there is a definite unit structure but these units can be orientated in many different ways inside the quasi crystal. Up until this point there had only been  two quasi crystals found in nature, both originating from the same meteorite. The first was icosahedrite (Al63Cu24Fe13) which presented a marvellous discovery in the topic of mineralogy. The second was decagonite (Al71Ni24Fe5) being the only natural structure found with decagon based symmetry which is impossible in normal crystals. Both of these were exciting discoveries but slightly dulled by the fact they had previously been synthesised in laboratories. This new quasi crystal however, found once again in the same Khatyrka meteorite, has never been created and is the first sample of this mineral ever recorded. It is still unknown what its exact composition is but it is of the form AlxCuyFez where x is about 60 to 64, y is about 30 to 33 and z is about 6 or 7. This structure is questionably stable and a long shot from anything previously predicted. It is believed this instability could explain why exists in such low concentrations inside the meteorite. It only managed to survive due to how quickly the meteorite cooled after impact and even then most of it is believed to have decomposed away. Now that the electron microscopy has finished a series of material and shock experiments are planned in order to gather more information about the properties and thermodynamics of the crystal.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s