J. M. Young, T. D. Glotch, M. Yesiltas, V. E. Hamilton, L. B. Breitenfeld, H. A. Bechtel, S. N. Gilbert Corder and Z. Yao
Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets 127, e2021JE007166 (2022)
Mid-infrared (MIR) spectroscopy has been used with great success to quantitatively determine the mineralogy of geologic samples. It has been employed in a variety of contexts from determining bulk composition of powdered samples to spectroscopic imaging of rock thin sections via micro-Fourier transform infrared (micro-FTIR) imaging spectroscopy. Recent advances allow for IR measurements at the nanoscale. Near field nanoscale infrared imaging and spectroscopy with a broadband source (nano-FTIR) enable understanding of the spatial relationships between compositionally distinct materials within a sample. This will be of particular use when analyzing returned samples from Bennu and Ryugu, which are thought to be compositionally like CI or CM1/2 carbonaceous chondrites. Returned samples will likely contain olivine/pyroxene chondrules that have been transformed into hydrous phyllosilicates, sulfides, carbonates, and other alteration phases. The use of near-field infrared techniques to probe the boundaries between once pristine chondrules and alteration phases at the nanoscale is a novel approach to furthering our understanding of the compositional evolution of carbonaceous asteroids and the processes that drive their evolution. Here we report the results of nano-FTIR spectroscopy and imaging measurements performed on the carbonaceous chondrite Allan Hills (ALH) 83100 (CM1/2). We show with nanoscale resolution that spatially resolved Fe-Mg variations exist within the phyllosilicates around a chondrule rim. We also present effects of crystal orientation on the nano-FTIR spectra to account for the spectral differences between the meteorite and mineral spectra.