Analytical Scanning and Transmission Electron Microscopy of Laboratory Impacts on Stardust Aluminium Foils: Interpreting Impact Crater Morphology and the Composition of Impact Residues. Page: 3 of 31
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Analytical scanning and transmission electron microscopy of
laboratory impacts on Stardust aluminium foils: interpreting impact
crater morphology and the composition of impact residues.
Anthony T KEARSLEY'*, Giles A GRAHAM2 ', Mark J BURCHEL3, Michael J
COLE3, Zurong DAI2, Nicholas TESLICH2, Richard CHATER4, Penelope A
WOZNIAKIEWICZ', John SPRATT' and Gary JONES'.
Department of Mineralogy, Impact and Astromaterials Research Centre, Natural
History Museum, Cromwell Road, South Kensington, London SW7 5BD, UK.
2Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, Lawrence Livermore National
Laboratory, Livermore, California CA 94551, USA.
3School of Physical Sciences, University of Kent, Canterbury, CT2 7NH, UK
4Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, Exhibition Road, South
Kensington, London SW7 2BP.
*Corresponding author. E-mail. firstname.lastname@example.org
Abstract-The known encounter velocity (6.1kms-1) between the Stardust spacecraft
and the dust emanating from the nucleus of comet Wild 2 has allowed realistic
simulation of dust collection in laboratory experiments designed to validate analytical
methods for the interpretation of dust impacts on the aluminium foil components of
the Stardust collector.
In this report we present information on crater gross morphology, the pre-existing
major and trace element composition of the foil, geometrical issues for energy
dispersive X-ray analysis of the impact residues in scanning electron microscopes,
and the modification of dust chemical composition during creation of impact craters
as revealed by analytical transmission electron microscopy. Together, these
observations help to underpin the interpretation of size, density and composition for
particles impacted upon the Stardust aluminium foils.
In a suite of papers, Graham et al. (2006), Hoppe et al. (2006), Kearsley et al (2006),
Leroux et al. (2006) and Stephan et al. (2006) have demonstrated that it should be
possible to obtain important information about Wild 2 dust particle size and
composition from craters on the aluminium (Al) foil exposed on the front surface of
Stardust's particle collector. However, several questions remain to be answered.
It is known that there is a strong relationship between impacting particle density and
crater dimensions (Humes 1991). Can the morphology of Stardust foil craters be used
to help provide a measure of the overall structure and density of particles? Also,
before residue analyses can be used to infer particle composition, it is important to
document possible contamination by the substrate material. What are the limitations
imposed by the substrate? Energy dispersive X-ray analysis can provide a very rapid
non-destructive impression of the major and minor element make-up of residue within
craters of sub-micron and larger scale. Although X-ray data can be obtained from
deep within craters, the crater shape and thin inclined residue sheet morphology
generate difficulties with X-ray 'matrix corrections' for quantitative analysis. What is
the best crater location for obtaining reliable quantitative analyses, and how should
the sample be oriented? Is there substantial change in elemental composition from the
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Kearsley, A T; Graham, G A; Burchell, M J; Cole, M J; Dai, Z R; Teslich, N et al. Analytical Scanning and Transmission Electron Microscopy of Laboratory Impacts on Stardust Aluminium Foils: Interpreting Impact Crater Morphology and the Composition of Impact Residues., article, October 19, 2006; Livermore, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc880420/m1/3/: accessed April 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.