Dome C UltraCarbonaceous Antarctic MicroMeteorites Infrared and Raman fingerprintsOPEN ACCESS 

E. Dartois, C. Engrand, J. Duprat, M. Godard, E. Charon, L. Delauche, C. Sandt, F. Borondics


“UltraCarbonaceous Antarctic MicroMeteorites (UCAMMs) represent a small fraction of interplanetary dust particles reaching the Earth’s surface and contain large amounts of an organic component not found elsewhere. They are most probably sampling a contribution from the outer regions of the solar system to the local interplanetary dust particle flux. We characterize UCAMMs composition focusing on the organic matter, and compare the results to the insoluble organic matter (IOM) from primitive meteorites, IDPs, and the Earth.We acquired synchrotron infrared microspectroscopy and micro-Raman spectra of eight UCAMMs from the Concordia/CSNSM collection, as well as N/C atomic ratios determined with an electron microprobe. The spectra are dominated by an organic component with a low aliphatic CH versus aromatic C=C ratio, and a higher nitrogen fraction and lower oxygen fraction compared to carbonaceous chondrites and IDPs. The UCAMMs carbonyl absorption band is in agreement with a ketone or aldehyde functional group. Some of the IR and Raman spectra show a C≡N band corresponding to a nitrile. The absorption band profile from 1400 to 1100 cm-1 is compatible with the presence of C-N bondings in the carbonaceous network, and is spectrally different from that reported in meteorite IOM. We confirm that the silicate-to-carbon content in UCAMMs is well below that reported in IDPs and meteorites. Together with the high nitrogen abundance relative to carbon building the organic matter matrix, the most likely scenario for the formation of UCAMMs occurs via physicochemical mechanisms taking place in a cold nitrogen rich environment, like the surface of icy parent bodies in the outer solar system. The composition of UCAMMs provides an additional hint of the presence of a heliocentric positive gradient in the C/Si and N/C abundance ratios in the solar system protoplanetary disc evolution. “