Physics and Chemistry of Minerals

, Volume 37, Issue 9, pp 635–651 | Cite as

Heat capacity, entropy, and magnetic properties of jarosite-group compounds

  • Juraj Majzlan
  • Peter Glasnák
  • Robert A. Fisher
  • Mary Anne White
  • Michel B. Johnson
  • Brian Woodfield
  • Juliana Boerio-Goates
Original Paper


Jarosite phases are common minerals in acidic, sulfate-rich environments. Here, we report heat capacities (Cp) and standard entropies (S°) for a number of jarosite samples. Most samples are close to the nominal composition AFe3(SO4)2(OH)6, where A = K, Na, Rb, and NH4. One of the samples has a significant number of defects on the Fe sites and is called the defect jarosite; others are referred to as A-jarosite. The samples, their compositions, and the entropies at T = 298.15 K are:


Chemical composition

So/(J mol−1 K−1)



427.4 ± 0.7



436.4 ± 4.4



411.9 ± 4.1



447.2 ± 4.5

Defect jarosite


412.7 ± 4.1

There are additional configurational entropies of 13.14 and 8.23 J mol−1 K−1 in defect and NH4-jarosite, respectively. A detailed analysis of the synchrotron X-ray diffraction patterns showed a large anisotropic peak broadening for defect and NH4-jarosite. The fits to the low-temperature (approx. <12 K) Cp data showed that our samples can be divided into two groups. The first group is populated by the K-, Na-, Rb-, and NH4-jarosite samples, antiferromagnetic at low temperatures. The second group contains the H3O-jarosite (studied previously) and the defect jarosite. H3O- and defect jarosite are spin glasses and their low-TCp was fit with the expression Cp = γT + ΣBjTj, where j = (3, 5, 7, 9). The linear term is typical for spin glasses and the sum represents the lattice contribution to Cp. Surprisingly, the Cp of the K-, Na-, Rb-, and NH4-jarosite samples, which are usually considered to be antiferromagnetic at low temperatures, also contains a large linear term. This finding suggests that even these phases do not order completely, but have a partial spin-glass character below their Néel transition temperature.


Jarosite Heat capacity Entropy Spin glass Antiferromagnet 



We thank two anonymous reviewers for helpful comments and M. Rieder for the editorial handling of the manuscript. We acknowledge the Angströmquelle Karlsruhe (ANKA) (Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe, Germany) for the provision of the beamtime and S. Doyle for the help with the data collection. This study was financially supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft grant no. MA3927/3-1. Financial contributions from NSERC (Grants to MAW) and the Canada Foundation for Innovation, Atlantic Innovation Fund, and other partners which fund the Facilities for Materials Characterization managed by the Institute for Research in Materials at Dalhousie University, are gratefully acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Juraj Majzlan
    • 1
  • Peter Glasnák
    • 2
  • Robert A. Fisher
    • 4
  • Mary Anne White
    • 5
  • Michel B. Johnson
    • 5
  • Brian Woodfield
    • 3
  • Juliana Boerio-Goates
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute of GeosciencesFriedrich-Schiller UniversityJenaGermany
  2. 2.Institute of GeosciencesAlbert-Ludwig UniversityFreiburgGermany
  3. 3.Department of Chemistry and BiochemistryBrigham Young UniversityProvoUSA
  4. 4.Lawrence Berkeley National LaboratoryUniversity of California at BerkeleyBerkeleyUSA
  5. 5.Department of Chemistry and Institute for Research in MaterialsDalhousie UniversityHalifaxCanada

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