Can somebody help me in identifying the name of $\ce{SnMg2O4}$?
Other examples are $\ce{ZnAl2O4}$ (zinc aluminate), $\ce{ZnIn2S4}$ (zinc thioindate).

Please kindly provide the reference if possible.


2 Answers 2


$\ce{Mg2SnO4}$ Magnesium Orthostannate

$\ce{MgSnO3}$ Magnesium Metastannate


$\ce{SnMg2O4}$ and $\ce{ZnAl2O4}$ belong to spinel group ($\ce{A^4+B^2+2O4}$ and $\ce{A^2+B^3+2O4}$, respectively) and should be treated as solid solutions of ternary oxides:

  • $\ce{SnMg2O4}$: tin(IV) dimagnesium oxide or dimagnesium tetraoxostannate(IV);
  • $\ce{ZnAl2O4}$: zinc dialuminium oxide or zinc tetraoxodialuminate.

$\ce{ZnIn2S4}$ is a thiospinel ($\ce{A^2+B^3+2S4}$):

  • $\ce{ZnIn2S4}$: zinc diindium sulfide or diindium tetrathiozincate.

In general, IUPAC Red Book [1, p. 237] discourages from using ortho- and meta- prefixes with only a few exceptions (for more details refer to What does the prefix meta mean in inorganic chemistry?), and suggests leaving the formula unit with a structural type notation as, for example, $\ce{SnMg2O4}$ (spinel type):

A mineral name may, however, be used to indicate the structure type. Where possible, a name that refers to a general group should replace a more specific name. For example, large numbers of minerals have been named that are all spinels, but which have widely differing atomic constituents. In this case, the generic name ‘spinel type’ should be used rather than the more specific names chromite, magnetite, etc. The generic mineral name, printed in italics, should be accompanied by a representative chemical formula. This is particularly important for zeolite types.[...]

1. $\ce{FeCr2O4}$ (spinel type)
2. $\ce{BaTiO3}$ (perovskite type)


  1. IUPAC “Red Book” Nomenclature of Inorganic Chemistry; Connelly, N. G., Ed.; IUPAC Recommendations; Royal Society of Chemistry Publishing/IUPAC: Cambridge, UK, 2005. ISBN 978-0-85404-438-2.

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