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Carbon analyses of IDP's sectioned in sulfur and supported on beryllium filmsCarbon is the only major element in interplanetary dust whose abundance, distribution and chemical state are not well understood. Information about carbon could clarify the relationship between the various classes of IDP's, conventional meteorites, and sources (e.g., comets vs. asteroids). To date, the most reliable estimates of C abundance in Interplanetary Dust Particles (IDP's) have been obtained by analyzing particles on thick-flat Be substrates using thin-window energy-dispersive spectroscopy in the SEM. These estimates of C abundance are valid only if C is homogeneously distributed, because detected C x-rays originate from the outer 0.1 micrometers of the particle. An alternative and potentially more accurate method of measuring C abundances is to analyze multiple thin sections (each less than 0.1 less than 0.1 micrometers thick) of IDP's. These efforts however, have been stymied because of a lack of a suitable non-carbonaceous embedding medium and the availability of C-free conductive substrates. We have embedded and thin-sectioned IDP's in glassy sulfur, and transferred the thin sections to Be support films approximately 25 nm thick. The sections were then analyzed in a 200 KeV analytical TEM. S sublimes rapidly under vacuum in the TEM, leaving non-embedded sections supported on Be. Apart from quantitative C (and O) analyses, S sectioning dramatically expands the range of analytical measurements that can be performed on a single IDP.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Conference Paper
Bradley, J. P.
(MVA, Inc. Norcross, GA, United States)
Keller, L.
(NASA Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center Houston, TX., United States)
Thomas, K. L.
(Lockheed Corp. Houston, TX., United States)
Vanderwood, T. B.
(MVA, Inc. Norcross, GA, United States)
Brownlee, D. E.
(Washington Univ. Seattle., United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1993
Publication Information
Publication: Lunar and Planetary Inst., Twenty-fourth Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. Part 1: A-F
Subject Category
Inorganic And Physical Chemistry
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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