Atom-probe tomography and transmission electron microscopy of the kamacite–taenite interface in the fast-cooled Bristol IVA iron meteorite.

Rout, S. S., Heck, P. R., Isheim, D., Stephan, T., Zaluzec, N. J., Miller, D. J., Davis, A. M. and Seidman, D. N.

Meteoritics & Planetary Science. doi: 10.1111/maps.12988


“We report the first combined atom-probe tomography (APT) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) study of a kamacite–tetrataenite (K–T) interface region within an iron meteorite, Bristol (IVA). Ten APT nanotips were prepared from the K–T interface with focused ion beam scanning electron microscopy (FIB-SEM) and then studied using TEM followed by APT. Near the K-T interface, we found 3.8 ± 0.5 wt% Ni in kamacite and 53.4 ± 0.5 wt% Ni in tetrataenite. High-Ni precipitate regions of the cloudy zone (CZ) have 50.4 ± 0.8 wt% Ni. A region near the CZ and martensite interface has <10 nm sized Ni-rich precipitates with 38.4 ± 0.7 wt% Ni present within a low-Ni matrix having 25.5 ± 0.6 wt% Ni. We found that Cu is predominantly concentrated in tetrataenite, whereas Co, P, and Cr are concentrated in kamacite. Phosphorus is preferentially concentrated along the K-T interface. This study is the first precise measurement of the phase composition at high spatial resolution and in 3-D of the K-T interface region in a IVA iron meteorite and furthers our knowledge of the phase composition changes in a fast-cooled iron meteorite below 400 °C. We demonstrate that APT in conjunction with TEM is a useful approach to study the major, minor, and trace elemental composition of nanoscale features within fast-cooled iron meteorites."