Turquoise Structure

Steven Dutch, Natural and Applied Sciences, University of Wisconsin - Green Bay
First-time Visitors: Please visit Site Map and Disclaimer. Use "Back" to return here.


Turquoise, that perennial staple of Southwestern jewelry, is a hydrous copper-aluminum phosphate with formula CuAl6(PO4)4(OH)8*4H2O

The structure is based on zigzag chains of aluminum octahedra (yellow). The chains consist of pairs of octahedra joined edge to edge, and connected by single octahedra sharing a vertex at each end.

Turquoise Structure

The aluminum chains are paired, joined by copper octahedra (green) atop each pair of edge-joined aluminum octahedra.

Turquoise Structure

Viewed from the ends, the aluminum-copper chains look like I-beams. Three different ways of showing the raltionship between the copper atoms and the aluminum chains are shown.

Turquoise Structure

Viewed from the sides, the aluminum-copper chains have a ladder structure.

Turquoise Structure

Turquoise Structure

Turquoise Structure

In the three views above, the aluminum-copper chains are linked by PO4 tetrahedra (brown). Hydrogen atoms are red.

Turquoise Structure

Turquoise Structure

Turquoise Structure

In the three views above, hydrogen atoms are red.


Return to Mineralogy-Petrology Index
Return to Professor Dutch's Home Page

Created 06 March 2016, Last Update 10 March 2016

Not an official UW Green Bay site