Cervelleite, Ag4TeS: solution and description of the crystal structure
Stanley, C. J.
Examination of the type specimen of cervelleite throws new light on its structure demonstrating how earlier researchers erred in describing the mineral as cubic. It was found to be monoclinic, space group P21/n, with a = 4.2696(4), b = 6.9761(5), c = 8.0423(7) Å, β = 100.332(6)°, V = 235.66(3) Å3, Z = 4. The crystal structure [R1 = 0.0329 for 956 reflections with I > 2σ(I)] is topologically identical to that of acanthite, Ag2S, and aguilarite, Ag4SeS. It can be described as a body-centered array of tetrahedrally coordinated X atoms (where X = S and Te) with Ag2X4 polyhedra in planes nearly parallel to (010); the sheets are linked by the other silver position (i.e., Ag1) that exhibits a three-fold coordination. Crystal-chemical features are discussed in relation to other copper and silver sulfides/tellurides, and pure metals. A SEM study of the cervelleite crystal used for the structural investigation showed that it is intergrown with an unnamed Ag2FeS2 phase in the type material.