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  1. Abstract We have performed sound velocity and unit cell volume measurements of three synthetic, ultrafine micro/nanocrystalline grossular samples up to 50 GPa using Brillouin spectroscopy and synchrotron X-ray diffraction. The samples are characterized by average grain sizes of 90 nm, 93 nm and 179 nm (hereinafter referred to as samples Gr90, Gr93, and Gr179, respectively). The experimentally determined sound velocities and elastic properties of Gr179 sample are comparable with previous measurements, but slightly higher than those of Gr90 and Gr93 under ambient conditions. However, the differences diminish with increasing pressure, and the velocity crossover eventually takes place at approximately 20–30 GPa. The X-ray diffraction peaks of the ultrafine micro/nanocrystalline grossular samples significantly broaden between 15–40 GPa, especially for Gr179. The velocity or elasticity crossover observed at pressures over 30 GPa might be explained by different grain size reduction and/or inhomogeneous strain within the individual grains for the three grossular samples, which is supported by both the pressure-induced peak broadening observed in the X-ray diffraction experiments and transmission electron microscopy observations. The elastic behavior of ultrafine micro/nanocrystalline silicates, in this case, grossular, is both grain size and pressure dependent. 
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  2. null (Ed.)
    The crystal chemistry of carnotite (prototype formula: K2(UO2)2(VO4)2·3H2O) occurring in mine wastes collected from Northeastern Arizona was investigated by integrating spectroscopy, electron microscopy, and x-ray diffraction analyses. Raman spectroscopy confirms that the uranyl vanadate phase present in the mine waste is carnotite, rather than the rarer polymorph vandermeerscheite. X-ray diffraction patterns of the carnotite occurring in these mine wastes are in agreement with those reported in the literature for a synthetic analog. Carbon detected in this carnotite was identified as organic carbon inclusions using transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS) analyses. After excluding C and correcting for K-drift from the electron microprobe analyses, the composition of the carnotite was determined as 8.64% K2O, 0.26% CaO, 61.43% UO3, 20.26% V2O5, 0.38% Fe2O3, and 8.23% H2O. The empirical formula, (K1.66Ca0.043Al(OH)2+0.145 Fe(OH)2+0.044)((U0.97)O2)2((V1.005)O4)2·4H2O of the studied carnotite, with an atomic ratio 1.9:2:2 for K:U:V, is similar to the that of carnotite (K2(UO2)2(VO4)2·3H2O) reported in the literature. Lattice spacing data determined using selected area electron diffraction (SAED)-TEM suggests: (1) complete amorphization of the carnotite within 120 s of exposure to the electron beam and (2) good agreement of the measured d-spacings for carnotite in the literature. Small differences between the measured and literature d-spacing values are likely due to the varying degree of hydration between natural and synthetic materials. Such information about the crystal chemistry of carnotite in mine wastes is important for an improved understanding of the occurrence and reactivity of U, V, and other elements in the environment. 
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