Synthesis and structural characterisation of new ettringite and thaumasite type phases: Ca6[Ga(OH)6•12H2O]2(SO4)3•2H2O and Ca6[M(OH)6•12H2O]2(SO4)2(CO3)2, M = Mn, Sn

Investigations into the formation of new ettringite-type phases with a range of trivalent and tetravalent cations were carried out to further study the potential this structure type has to incorporate cations covering a range of ionic radii (0.53–0.69 Å). We report the synthesis and structural characterisation of a new ettringite-type phase, Ca6[Ga(OH)6•12H2O]2(SO4)3•2H2O, which was indexed in space group P31c with the unit cell parameters a = 11.202(2) Å, c = 21.797(3) Å and two new thaumasite-type phases Ca6[M(OH)6•12H2O]2(SO4)2(CO3)2, M = Mn, Sn which were indexed in space group P63 with the unit cell parameters a = 11.071(5) Å, c = 21.156(8) Å and a = 11.066(1) Å, c = 22.420(1) Å respectively. These new phases show the versatility of the ettringite family of structures to tolerate a large range of cation sizes on the octahedral M site and highlights the preference of tetravalent cations to crystallise with the thaumasite structure over the ettringite structure.