Crystallography365

Blogging a crystal structure a day in 2014

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Contributed by

Helen Maynard-Casely

The crystal structure rainbow – Yellow sulfur

What does it look like?

Cyclodecasulfur, Image generated by the VESTA (Visualisation for Electronic and STructual analysis) software http://jp-minerals.org/vesta/en/

Cyclodecasulfur, Image generated by the VESTA (Visualisation for Electronic and STructual analysis) software http://jp-minerals.org/vesta/en/

What is it?

Io, a picture taken by NASA's Galileo spacecraft. NASA / JPL / University of Arizona

Io, a picture taken by NASA's Galileo spacecraft. NASA / JPL / University of Arizona

Another element of colour and perhaps not such a surprising inclusion in our Rainbow series is sulfur. Sulfur really stands out as the element with the most currently known allotropes, standing at 30 currently. Like carbon can come in graphite, diamond and buckyballs, the different structures of sulfur are contrasted by the rings that the sulfur atoms can form. There have been observations of 6, 7 and even 16 member rings making up the basis of the large number of allotropes. A ring of ten sulfur atoms (cyclodecasulfur) which we've chose to feature was discovered in 1968. This large range of sulfur compounds could be the explanation for the large range of yellows we see on the surface of Jupiter's moon Io.

Where did the structure come from?

We’ve taken the structure of cyclodecasulfur from the work by Steudel et al. and it is number # 9012362 in the Crystallography Open Database