Name in stone New mineral named after famous geologist

A group of scientists from the Kola Scientific Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences and St. Petersburg State University discovered a new mineral in the Yakut Kester deposit in the Verkhoyansk Territory, which can become the basis for creating high-capacity batteries. It was named sergeismirnovite – in honor of the famous Soviet geologist, the greatest specialist in the field of mineralogy of ore deposits, full member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR Sergei Sergeevich Smirnov (1895-1947).

The mineral sergeismyrnovite belongs to the gopeite subgroup and contains magnesium, zinc and phosphorus. The results of the work were published in the journal “Reports of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Earth Sciences.

According to Sergey Krivovichev, professor of the Crystallography Department of St. Petersburg State University and general director of the Kola Scientific Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences, sergeismirnovite is already the fourth new mineral to be discovered in the Kester tin ore deposit.

“In Kester, in the late 1950s, the mineral kesterite was discovered, the synthetic analogues of which are now widely used in solar cells. The study of the mineralogy of Kester was resumed 50 years after the discovery of kesterite in our last work. Just as epiphanovite and batagaite minerals, which we described earlier, sergeismirnovite was formed in the final low-temperature phase of hydrothermal activity,” said Sergey Krivovichov.

Hydrothermal processes are endogenous geological processes of formation and transformation of minerals and minerals that occur in the earth’s crust at medium and shallow depths with the participation of hot aqueous solutions at high pressures.
Scientists suggest that the mineral should have good proton conductivity. Because of this property, synthetic analogs of sergeismirnovite like nature can be used as a basis for creating supercapacitive batteries.

“The place where the mineral was found is unique in Soviet history. In the late 1940s and early 50s, there was a camp near Batagay, the administrative center of the Verkhoyansk ulus of the Sakha Republic, near Mount Kester. The prisoners they mined cassiterite, a mineral used to produce tin. It is no coincidence that the mineral sergeismirnovite is named after Academician Smirnov, who received the Stalin Prize in 1946 for the discovery of the Yakut tin deposits. Thus, the names of the minerals discovered by us – epifanovite, batagaite, sergeismirnovite – simultaneously immortalize the tragic history of our country (batagaite) and the names of geologists who worked in the Verkhoyansk region (epifanovite, sergeismirnovite),” Sergey Krivovichev added.

Sergeysmirnovit was approved by the Commission on New Minerals and Nomenclature of the International Mineralogical Association, the holotype specimen of the mineral was transferred to the Mineralogical Museum of St. Petersburg State University.

Press service of St. Petersburg University

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