Surface energetics of wurtzite and sphalerite polymorphs of zinc sulfide and implications for their formation in nature

Tamilarasan Subramani, Kristina Lilova, Megan Householder, Shuhao Yang, James Lyons, Alexandra Navrotsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Surface energetics of zinc sulfide nanoparticles determines their structure, properties, and occurrence. Using a combination of experimental techniques, we investigated the thermodynamics of the two polymorphs, sphalerite and wurtzite at bulk and nanoscale to understand their occurrence. Calorimetric measurements confirmed that wurtzite has a lower surface energy than sphalerite, which causes a reversal in phase stability at the nanoscale, with wurtzite energetically stable for particle size below 10 nm. Taking these surface energies into account, a simple model of the thermodynamics of the sphalerite - wurtzite transformation as a function of particle size and temperature can explain the occurrence of the zinc sulfide polymorphs in environments as diverse as ore bodies and planetary atmospheres.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)99-107
Number of pages9
JournalGeochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
Volume340
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2023

Keywords

  • Exoplanets atmosphere
  • Nano sphalerite – wurtzite transformation
  • Stability crossover
  • Sulfide ores
  • Surface energy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geochemistry and Petrology

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