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High-pressure synthesis, long-term stability of single crystals of diboron trioxide, B2O3, and an empirical electronic polarizability of [3]B3+

Abstract

Single crystals of B2O3 are needed for the precise determination of the refractive indices used to calculate the electronic polarizability α of 3-coordinated boron. The α(B) values in turn are used to predict mean refractive indices of borate minerals. Since the contribution of boron to the total polarizability of a mineral is very low, the synthetic compound B2O3 represents an ideal model system because of its high molar content of boron. Millimeter-sized crystals were synthesized at 1 GPa in a piston-cylinder apparatus. The samples were heated above the liquidus (800 °C), subsequently cooled at 15 °C/h to 500 °C and finally quenched. The refractive indices were determined by the immersion method using a microrefractometer spindle stage. The refractive indices n o = 1.653 (3) and n e = 1.632 (3) correspond to a total polarizability for B2O3 of α = 4.877 Å3. These values were used to determine the electronic polarizability of boron of α(B) = 0.16 Å3. Although the surface of the B2O3 crystals was coated with a hydrous film immediately after being exposed to air, its bulk crystallinity is retained for a period of at least 2 months.

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Acknowledgments

We thank the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) for funding this project under grant Fi442/21-1.

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Correspondence to Reinhard X. Fischer.

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Burianek, M., Birkenstock, J., Mair, P. et al. High-pressure synthesis, long-term stability of single crystals of diboron trioxide, B2O3, and an empirical electronic polarizability of [3]B3+ . Phys Chem Minerals 43, 527–534 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00269-016-0813-x

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Keywords

  • B2O3
  • High-pressure synthesis
  • Refractive indices
  • Electronic polarizability
  • Crystal structure
  • Long-term stability