Coherent solvus of disordered alkali feldspar: experiment, atom probe tomography and thermodynamic model

D. Heuser*, R. Dubosq, E. Petrishcheva, G. Bian, C. Rentenberger, C. L. Lengauer, B. Gault, G. Habler, R. Abart

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


At temperatures above about 600 °C, alkali feldspar forms a continuous solid solution between the Na and K end members. Towards lower temperatures a miscibility gap opens, and alkali feldspar of intermediate composition exsolves, forming an intergrowth of relatively more Na-rich and K-rich lamellae. During exsolution, the crystal structure usually remains coherent across the lamellar interfaces, a feature that may be preserved over geological times. Due to the compositional dependence of the lattice parameters, coherent intergrowth requires that the lamellae are elastically strained. The associated elastic strain energy counteracts exsolution, and the solvus delimiting the misciblity gap for coherent intergrowth lies below the solvus for strain free phase equilibria. To determine the coherent solvus, homogeneous gem quality alkali feldspar of intermediate composition was annealed at conditions falling into the two-phase region of the phase diagram. Thereby a coherent intergrowth of approximately 10–20 nanometers wide lamellae was produced. Lamellar compositions were determined with atom probe tomography defining points on the coherent solvus. In parallel, the coherent solvus was calculated using a thermodynamic mixing model calibrated on the same alkali feldspar as used for the exsolution experiments and accounting for the elastic strain energy associated with coherent lamellar intergrwoth. The experimentally determined and the calculated coherent solvus are in excellent agreement indicating that phase equilibria in coherent lamellar intergrowth of alkali feldspar are adequately described, providing a sound basis for the interpretation of phase relations in coherently exsolved alkali feldspar.

Original languageEnglish
Article number68
JournalContributions to Mineralogy and Petrology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2024


  • Alkali feldspar
  • Alkali feldspar solid solution
  • Atom probe tomography
  • Coherent solvus
  • Exsolution experiments


Dive into the research topics of 'Coherent solvus of disordered alkali feldspar: experiment, atom probe tomography and thermodynamic model'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this