Pyroxenes form a large family of materials which have been investigated for decades due to their importance in mineralogy . Olivines and pyroxenes form the vast majority of the earth’s mantle. Consequently, the temperature, pressure and chemical composition effects on the crystal structure of these materials continue to be the subject of intensive research. Pyroxenes have attracted further interest from the physics community because of their reported interesting dielectric and magnetic properties. It has been shown that the dielectric properties of these materials can be controlled by a magnetic field and vice-versa . The ability to tune these properties conversely is called multiferroicity. Such a property is of interest for potential technological applications.
Here we briefly present the results and discussion of a detailed investigation of the crystal structure of one of these multiferroic materials: LiCrGe2O6.
Powder diffraction data were acquired, at room temperature, using the Empyrean XRD platform configured with a Bragg-BrentanoHD optical module, a transmission- reflection spinner, fixed anti-scatter slits on the diffracted beam path in combination with the PIXcel3D used as a line detector. The LiCrGe2O6 powder sample was prepared by mixing stoichiometric quantities of Li2CO3, Cr2O3 and GeO2. The starting materials were heated to 1000°C several times with grinding between each heating run.
Figure 1. The internal structure of the Earth where the mantle is mostly made of olivine and pyroxene minerals