Single Crystal Elastic Properties of Hemimorphite, a Novel Hydrous Silicate

Yingzhe Li, Jay D. Bass

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Hemimorphite, with the chemical formula Zn4Si2O7(OH)2·H2O, contains two different types of structurally bound hydrogen: molecular water and hydroxyl. The elastic properties of single-crystal hemimorphite have been determined by Brillouin spectroscopy at ambient conditions, yielding tight constraints on all nine single-crystal elastic moduli (Cij). The Voigt–Reuss–Hill (VRH) averaged isotropic aggregate elastic moduli are KS (VRH) = 74(3) GPa and µ (VRH) = 27(2) GPa, for the adiabatic bulk modulus and shear modulus, respectively. The average of the Hashin–Shtrickman (HS) bounds are Ks (HS) = 74.2(7) GPa and and µ (HS) = 26.5(6) GPa. Hemimorphite displays a high degree of velocity anisotropy. As a result, differences between upper and lower bounds on aggregate properties are large and the main source of uncertainty in Ks and µ. The HS average P wave velocity is VP = 5.61(4) km/s, and the HS S-wave velocity is VS = 2.77(3) km/s. The high degree of elastic anisotropy among the on-diagonal longitudinal and pure shear moduli of hemimorphite are largely explained by its distinctive crystal structure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number425
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 10 2020


  • Brillouin
  • Elastic properties
  • Hydrogen bonds
  • Sound velocity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Geology


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