Russian scientists from St. Petersburg University have published data on the study of the crystal structure of a new mineral called "petrovite". World science did not know anything of the kind yet, so it is not surprising that the work took so long - the first samples of the mineral were found at the beginning of the century. Beautiful and mysterious, bright blue-green petrovite is a product of the legendary Tolbachik volcano.
The active volcano Tolbachik located in Kamchatka has become the source of at least 130 new types of minerals, which were first discovered here. Scientists were greatly helped by the Great Fissure Tolbachik eruption of 1975-76, after which many fumarole cones appeared on the surface. Since then, discoveries have been made almost on a regular basis - for example, a few years ago, another team from the same university discovered the locust mineral there.
Petrovite and locust are "close relatives", according to crystallographer Stanislav Filatov. Most likely, they are formed during the direct deposition of volcanic gases on pyroclastic emissions, and it is possible that one mineral originates from another. Copper atoms in their structure have an extremely rare coordination of seven oxygen atoms, which makes the entire structure of the lattice porous. Due to this, sodium atoms in petrovite can migrate through these pores, which makes the mineral look like membranes and semiconductors.
Scientists are currently trying to reproduce the structure of petrovite in the laboratory in order to understand its properties. And they are also planning new expeditions to Tolbachik - a volcano that can not only destroy, but also create, like an incredible natural forge.