Exploring Mars at the nanoscale: applications of transmission electron microscopy and atom probe tomography in planetary exploration

Daly, L. , Lee, M. , Bagot, P.A., Halpin, J., Smith, W., McFadzean, S., O'Brien, A.C., Griffin, S. and Cohen, B.E. (2020) Exploring Mars at the nanoscale: applications of transmission electron microscopy and atom probe tomography in planetary exploration. IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering, 891, 012008. (doi: 10.1088/1757-899X/891/1/012008)

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Abstract

The upcoming Mars Sample Return (MSR) mission aims to deliver small quantities of Martian rocks to the Earth. Investigating these precious samples requires the development and application of techniques that can extract the greatest amount of high quality data from the minimum sample volume, thereby maximising science return from MSR. Atom probe tomography (APT) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) are two complementary techniques that can obtain nanoscale structural, geochemical and, in the case of atom probe, isotopic information from small sample volumes. Here we describe how both techniques operate, as well as review recent developments in sample preparation protocols. We also outline how APT has been successfully applied to extraterrestrial materials in the recent past. Finally, we describe how we have studied Martian meteorites using TEM and APT in close coordination in order to characterise the products of water/rock interactions in t h e cru st of Ma r s – a k ey sc ie n ce goal of MSR. Our results provide new insights into the Martian hydrosphere and the mechanisms of anhydrous-hydrous mineral replacement. In light of the unique results provided by these tools, APT and TEM should form a crucial part at the culmination of a correlative analytical pipeline for MSR mission materials.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Daly, Dr Luke and O'Brien, Ms Aine and McFadzean, Dr Sam and Halpin, Dr John and Cohen, Dr Benjamin and Lee, Professor Martin
Authors: Daly, L., Lee, M., Bagot, P.A., Halpin, J., Smith, W., McFadzean, S., O'Brien, A.C., Griffin, S., and Cohen, B.E.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
College of Science and Engineering > School of Physics and Astronomy
College of Science and Engineering > Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre
Journal Name:IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering
Publisher:IOP Publishing
ISSN:1757-8981
ISSN (Online):1757-899X
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 IOP Publishing Ltd
First Published:First published in IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering 891:012008
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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