|Crystal symmetry||Tetragonal ditetragonal dipyramidal
H-M symbol: (42/m 21/n 21/m)
Space group: P 42/mnm (No. 136)
|Unit cell||a = 4.1772(7) Å, c = 2.6651(4) Å; Z=2|
|Color||Colorless (when pure)|
|Mohs scale hardness||9-9.5|
|Diaphaneity||Transparent to translucent|
|Optical properties||Uniaxial (+)|
|Refractive index||nω = 1.799–1.800 nε = 1.826–1.845|
|Birefringence||δ = 0.027|
Stishovite is an extremely hard, dense tetragonal form (polymorph) of silicon dioxide. It was long considered the hardest known oxide (~30 GPa Vickers); however, boron suboxide has recently been discovered to be much harder. At normal temperature and pressure, stishovite is metastable.
Unlike other silica polymorphs, the crystal structure of stishovite resembles that of rutile (TiO2). The silicon in stishovite, like in rutile, is in octahedral coordination with oxygen, with six oxygens surrounding every silicon. However, most silicates have silicon in tetrahedral, four-fold coordination with oxygen.
Until recently, the only known occurrences of stishovite in nature formed at the very high shock pressures (>100 kbar or 10 GPa) and temperatures (> 1200 °C) present during hypervelocity meteorite impact into quartz-bearing rock. Recently (2007), minute amounts of stishovite has been found within diamonds, and post-stishovite phases were identified within ultra-high pressure mantle rocks. Stishovite may also be synthesized by duplicating these conditions in the laboratory, either isostatically or through shock (see shocked quartz)  At 4.287 g/cm3 it is second densest polymorph of silica, after seifertite. It has tetragonal crystal symmetry, P42/mnm, No.136, Pearson symbol tP6.
See also 
- Coesite, a related mineral
- Luo, Sheng-Nian; Swadener, J.G.; Ma, Chi; Tschauner, Oliver (2007). "Examining crystallographic orientation dependence of hardness of silica stishovite". Physica B: Condensed Matter 399 (2): 138. Bibcode:2007PhyB..399..138L. doi:10.1016/j.physb.2007.06.011. and references therein
- Anthony, John W.; Bideaux, Richard A.; Bladh, Kenneth W. and Nichols, Monte C., ed. (1995). "Stishovite" (PDF). Handbook of Mineralogy. II (Silica, Silicates). Chantilly, VA, US: Mineralogical Society of America. ISBN 0962209716. Retrieved December 5, 2011.
- Stishovite. Mindat.org
- Stishovite. Webmineral.com
- Fleischer, Michael (1962). "New mineral names" (PDF). American Mineralogist (Mineralogical Society of America) 47 (2): 172–174.
- Ross, Nancy L. (1990). "High pressure crystal chemistry of stishovite" (PDF). American Mineralogist (Mineralogical Society of America) 75 (7): 739–747.
- Wirth, R; Vollmer, C; Brenker, F; Matsyuk, S; Kaminsky, F (2007). "Inclusions of nanocrystalline hydrous aluminium silicate "Phase Egg" in superdeep diamonds from Juina (Mato Grosso State, Brazil)". Earth and Planetary Science Letters 259 (3–4): 384. Bibcode:2007E&PSL.259..384W. doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2007.04.041.
- Liu, L; Zhang, J; Greenii, H; Jin, Z; Bozhilov, K (2007). "Evidence of former stishovite in metamorphosed sediments, implying subduction to >350 km". Earth and Planetary Science Letters 263 (3–4): 180. Bibcode:2007E&PSL.263..180L. doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2007.08.010.
- J. M. Léger, J. Haines, M. Schmidt, J. P. Petitet, A. S. Pereira & J. A. H. da Jornada (1996). "Discovery of hardest known oxide". Nature 383 (6599): 401. Bibcode:1996Natur.383..401L. doi:10.1038/383401a0.
- Smyth J.R., Swope R.J., Pawley A.R. (1995). "H in rutile-type compounds: II. Crystal chemistry of Al substitution in H-bearing stishovite". American Mineralogist 80: 454–456.
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