Naica’s “Cueva de los Cristales”: Synchrotron radiation characterization of the wall-crystal interface


  • Bernardo Pérez-Cázares Universidad Autónoma de Chihuahua, México
  • María Elena Fuentes-Montero Universidad Autónoma de Chihuahua, México
  • Luis Edmundo Fuentes-Cobas Centro de Investigación en Materiales Avanzados
  • Isaí Castillo-Sandoval Centro de Investigación en Materiales Avanzados
  • Iván Jalil Carreño-Márquez Universidad de la Salle, Chihuahua, México
  • Hilda Esperanza Esparza-Ponce Centro de Investigación en Materiales Avanzados
  • Diane Eichert Elettra Sincrotrone-Trieste
  • René Loredo-Portales CONACYT-Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
  • Jesús Canche-Tello Centro de Investigación en Materiales Avanzados
  • José Manuel Nápoles-Duarte Universidad Autónoma de Chihuahua, México
  • Layla Muñoz-Castellanos Universidad Autónoma de Chihuahua, México
  • Guillermo González-Sánchez Centro de Investigación en Materiales Avanzados
  • Ignacio Alfonso Reyes-Cortés Universidad Autónoma de Chihuahua, México
  • María Elena Montero-Cabrera Centro de Investigación en Materiales Avanzados



Naica’s Cueva de los Cristales, µ-XRF, µ-XANES


Naica’s ”Cueva de los Cristales” was discovered in 2000. It has been considered particularly interesting for its beauty and the challenges it poses to crystallography. This article focuses on the study of the wall-selenite interface by various techniques, particularly X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), with emphasis on micro-X-ray fluorescence (micro-XRF) and micro-X-ray absorption near edge structure (micro-XANES). The main phases calcite, quartz, goethite and montmorillonite were identified by XRD, as well as the association of crystalline and amorphous minor and trace phases of Zn, Mn, Cu, As and Pb. The latter were identified in micro-XRF maps and micro-XANES spectra. The results for the morphology and the chemical description of the crystal-wall interface may contribute to propose a nucleation and growth mechanism for Naica megacrystals.


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How to Cite

Pérez-Cázares B, Fuentes-Montero ME, Fuentes-Cobas LE, Castillo-Sandoval I, Carreño-Márquez IJ, Esparza-Ponce HE, Eichert D, Loredo-Portales R, Canche-Tello J, Nápoles-Duarte JM, Muñoz-Castellanos L, González-Sánchez G, Reyes-Cortés IA, Montero-Cabrera ME. Naica’s “Cueva de los Cristales”: Synchrotron radiation characterization of the wall-crystal interface. Supl. Rev. Mex. Fis. [Internet]. 2022 Feb. 18 [cited 2022 Jul. 2];3(1):010604 1-. Available from:



06 I National Congress of the Mexican Society of Synchrotron Light