Monoclinic SmAl3(BO3)(4): synthesis, structural and spectroscopic properties

A. S. Oreshonkov, N. P. Shestakov, M. S. Molokeev, A. S. Aleksandrovsky, I. A. Gudim, V. L. Temerov, S. V. Adichtchev, A. M. Pugachev, I. V. Nemtsev, E. I. Pogoreltsev and Y. G. Denisenko. Acta Cryst. (2020). B76, 654-660

Single crystals of SmAl3(BO3)4 were synthesized by the group growth on seeds method. The crystal structure was solved using a single-crystal experiment and the purity of the bulk material was proved by the Rietveld method. This borate crystallizes in the monoclinic C2/c space group with unit-cell parameters a = 7.2386 (3), b = 9.3412 (5), c = 11.1013 (4) Å and β = 103.2240 (10)°. IR and Raman spectroscopic analyses confirmed the monoclinic structure of SmAl3(BO3)4. Under 532.1 nm excitation, luminescence spectra exhibit bands assignable to the transitions from 4G5/2 to 6H5/2, 6H7/2, 6H9/2 and 6H11/2. The similarity of the luminescence spectra of the trigonal and monoclinic poly­morphs is explained by the minor role of Sm—O bond distortion and the primary role of rotational distortion of SmO6 octa­hedra. The smaller covalency of the Sm—O bond in alumoborates is deduced in comparison with galloborates. Calorimetric measurements did not reveal high-temperature structural phase transitions up to a temperature of 720 K.