An aromatic mineral – Carpathite

What does it look like?

On the left is the coronene molecule, and the images to the right are two views of the 'mineral' structure carpathite. Image generated by the Mercury crystal structure visualisation software http://www.ccdc.cam.ac.uk/Solutions/CSDSystem/Pages/Mercury.aspx

On the left is the coronene molecule, and the images to the right are two views of the ‘mineral’ structure carpathite. Image generated by the Mercury crystal structure visualisation software http://www.ccdc.cam.ac.uk/Solutions/CSDSystem/Pages/Mercury.aspx

What is it?A rare material, a molecular mineral!

Like yesterday’s material, this is also a polyaromatic hydrocarbon (PAH), but very unusually actually forms on the surface of the Earth.  This is the molecule coronene, otherwise known a ‘superbenzene’ as it is made up of six fused benzene rings.  Because it forms a yellow mineral around low-temperature hydrothermal areas, it has a mineral name, Carpathite.  One of the rather cool things about Carpathite, it that it fluoresces and electric blue colour under UV light.

Where did the structure come form?
This crystal structure of Carpathite was found by Echigo et al. in 2007, from a sample collected from the Picacho Peak Area, California.  It is #9010291 in the Crystallography Open Database.

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