Determination of the origin and magnitude of Al/Si ordering enthalpy in framework aluminosilicates from ab initio calculations
Ab initio total energy calculations based on a new optimised oxygen pseudopotential has been used to determine the enthalpy of disorder for the exchange of Al and Si in tetrahedral coordination in simple derivative aluminosilicate structures based on the high temperature tridymite structure. The problem has been studied as a function of defect interaction, and defect concentration, and the results indicate that the energy for Al/Al neighbouring tetrahedra can be assigned primarily to two effects, the first, a coulombic effect, associated with the disturbed charge distribution, and the second associated with the strain related to misfit due to the very different dimensions of the Si and Al containing tetrahedra. In practice each of these effects contributes approximately 0.2 eV per Al-Al neighbour to the overal disorder enthalpy. These simple results were obtained after a careful study of possible chemical interaction between adjacent Al/Si containing tetrahedra which showed that chemical interaction was effectively absent. Since individual Al/Si tetrahedra proved to be discrete entities that are individually heavily screened by the shared oxygens it follows that coulombic and strain effects in disorder effectively account for the whole of the disorder enthalpy. The complete set of results have been used to establish new criteria for the structure and disorder enthalpies of the feldspar group of minerals and their long period derivatives.