Atom probe tomography of space‐weathered lunar ilmenite grain surfaces

Greer, J. , Rout, S. S., Isheim, D., Seidman, D. N., Wieler, R. and Heck, P. R. (2020) Atom probe tomography of space‐weathered lunar ilmenite grain surfaces. Meteoritics and Planetary Science, 55(2), pp. 426-440. (doi: 10.1111/maps.13443)

[img] Text
308691.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.



The surfaces of airless bodies, such as the Moon and asteroids, are subject to space weathering, which alters the mineralogy of the upper tens of nanometers of grain surfaces. Atom probe tomography (APT) has the appropriate 3-D spatial resolution and analytical sensitivity to investigate such features at the nanometer scale. Here, we demonstrate that APT can be successfully used to characterize the composition and texture of space weathering products in ilmenite from Apollo 17 sample 71501 at near-atomic resolution. Two of the studied nanotips sampled the top surface of the space-weathered grain, while another nanotip sampled the ilmenite at about 50 nm below the surface. These nanotips contain small nanophase Fe particles (~3 to 10 nm diameter), with these particles becoming less frequent with depth. One of the nanotips contains a sequence of space weathering products, compositional zoning, and a void space (~15 nm in diameter) which we interpret as a vesicle generated by solar wind irradiation. No noble gases were detected in this vesicle, although there is evidence for 4He elsewhere in the nanotip. This lunar soil grain exhibits the same space weathering features that have been well documented in transmission electron microscope studies of lunar and Itokawa asteroidal regolith grains.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Greer, Dr Jennika
Authors: Greer, J., Rout, S. S., Isheim, D., Seidman, D. N., Wieler, R., and Heck, P. R.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences > Earth Sciences
Journal Name:Meteoritics and Planetary Science
ISSN (Online):1945-5100
Copyright Holders:Copyright: © 2020 The Authors
First Published:First published in Meteoritics and Planetary Science 55(2): 426-440
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons licence

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record