Shearer, Charles K. Institute of Meteorites, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexoci.
Last reviewed:January 2021
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A lithium aluminum phosphate mineral of basic formula LiAl(PO4)(F). The structure of amblygonite consists of phosphate (PO4) groups of tetrahedra and AlO6 groups of octahedra. Each PO4 tetrahedron is connected to an AlO6 octahedron. Corner-sharing octahedra form zig-zag chains along the b axis. Lithium (Li) is in fivefold coordination, and lies between the PO4 tetrahedra and nearest AlO6 octahedra. The dominant substitution in this mineral structure is hydroxyl (OH) for fluorine (F). This substitution gives rise to the amblygonite-montebrasite [LiAlPO4(OH)] solid solution series. When OH is greater than F, the mineral is known as montebrasite. Appreciable amounts of sodium substitute for lithium in the five-coordinated polyhedra. The sodium-rich varieties such as natromontebrasite and hedronite are rare.
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