Nanoscale mineralogy and organic structure in Orgueil (CI) and EET 92042 (CR) carbonaceous chondrites studied with AFM-IR spectroscopy

Van T. H. Phan, Rolando Rebois, Pierre Beck, Eric Quirico, Lydie Bonal, Takaaki Noguchi

Version of Record online: 31 December 2021


“Meteorite matrices from primitive chondrites are an interplay of ingredients at the sub-µm scale, which requires analytical techniques with the nanometer spatial resolution to decipher the composition of individual components in their petrographic context. Infrared spectroscopy is an effective method that enables the probing of vibrations at the molecule atomic scale of organic and inorganic compounds but is often limited to a few micrometers in spatial resolution. To efficiently distinguish spectral signatures of the different constituents, we apply here nano-infrared spectroscopy (AFM-IR), based on the combination of infrared and atomic force microscopy, having a spatial resolution beyond the diffraction limits. Our study aims to characterize two chosen meteorite samples to investigate primitive material in terms of bulk chemistry (the CI chondrite Orgueil) and organic composition (the CR chondrite EET 92042). We confirm that this technique allows unmixing the IR signatures of organics and minerals to assess the variability of organic structure within these samples. We report an investigation of the impact of the widely used chemical HF/HCl (hydrogen fluoride/hydrochloric acid) extraction on the nature of refractory organics (insoluble organic matter [IOM]) and provide insights on the mineralogy of meteorite matrices from these two samples by comparing to reference (extra)terrestrial materials. These findings are discussed with a perspective toward understanding the impact of post-accretional aqueous alteration and thermal metamorphism on the composition of chondrites. Last, we highlight that the heterogeneity of organic matter within meteoritic materials extends down to the nanoscale, and by comparison with IOMs, oxygenated chemical groups are not affected by acid extractions.”