Identification of Large Isotope Anomalies in Quartz by Infrared Spectroscopy

R. C. Ogliore, C. Dwyer, M. J. Krawczynski, H. Couvy, M. Eisele and J. Filiberto

Applied Spectroscopy, OnlineFirst (2019)
We report an infrared (IR) spectroscopic technique to detect quartz grains with large isotope anomalies. We synthesized isotopically doped quartz and used Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) in two different instruments: a traditional far-field instrument and a neaSpec nanoFT-IR, to quantify the shift in the peak of the Si–O stretch near 780 cm−1 as a function of isotope composition, and the uncertainty in this shift. From these measurements, we estimated the minimum detectable isotope anomaly using FT-IR. The described technique can be used to nondestructively detect very small (30 nm) presolar grains. In particular, supernova grains, which can have very large isotope anomalies, are detectable by this method.