Goethite, α-FeO(OH), from single-crystal data

Yang Hexiong, Lu Ren, Robert T. Downs, Gelu Costin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

91 Scopus citations


This is the first reported structure refinement of goethite, α-FeO(OH), on the basis of a single-crystal X-ray diffraction study. The structure of goethite, isostructural with diaspore, AlO(OH), and groutite, MnO(OH), can be described in terms of a slightly distorted hexagonal close-packed O-atom arrangement with Fe atoms occupying one-half of the octahedral interstices, and with all atoms located on mirror planes. There are two distinct O sites, O1 and O2, each bonded to three Fe atoms, with O2 additionally bonded to an H atom. The O2-H⋯O1 donor-acceptor distance in goethite is significantly longer than that in diaspore or groutite, indicating that the hydrogen bonding in goethite is the weakest of the three minerals. Analysis of refinement data for the three isostructural compounds reveals rigid-body thermal motion behavior of the octahedral groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)i250-i252
JournalActa Crystallographica Section E: Structure Reports Online
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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