Structural phase transitions in hydrous Cs-exchanged natrolite (Cs-NAT-hyd) and anhydrous Cs-exchanged natrolite (Cs-NAT-anh) have been investigated as a function of pressure and temperature using micro-Raman scattering and synchrotron infrared (IR) spectroscopy with pure water as the penetrating pressure medium. The spectroscopic results indicate that Cs-NAT-hyd undergoes a reversible phase transition around 4.72 GPa accompanied by the discontinuous frequency shifts of the breathing vibrational modes of the four-ring and helical eight-ring units of the natrolite framework. On the other hand, we observe that Cs-NAT-anh becomes rehydrated at 0.76 GPa after heating to 100 °C and then transforms into two distinctive phases at 2.24 and 3.41 GPa after temperature treatments at 165 and 180 °C, respectively. Both of these high-pressure phases are characterized by the absence of the helical eight-ring breathing modes, which suggests the collapse of the natrolite channel and formation of dense high-pressure polymorphs. Together with the fact that these high-pressure phases are recoverable to ambient conditions, our results imply a novel means for radionuclide storage utilizing pressure and a porous material.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films