Organic and inorganic correlations for Northwest Africa 852 by synchrotron-based Fourier transform infrared microspectroscopy

Yesiltas, M., Peale, R. E., Unger, M., Sedlmair, J. and Hirschmugl, C. J.

Meteoritics & Planetary Science. doi: 10.1111/maps.12498
Article first published online: 21 SEP 2015


“Relationships between organic molecules and inorganic minerals are investigated in a single 34 μm diameter grain of the CR2 chondrite Northwest Africa 852 (NWA) 852 with submicron spatial resolution using synchrotron-based imaging micro-FTIR spectroscopy. Correlations based on absorption strength for the various constituents are determined using statistical correlation analysis. The silicate band is found to be correlated with the hydration band, and the latter is highly correlated with stretching modes of aliphatic hydrocarbons. Spatial distribution maps show that water+organic combination, silicate, OH, and C-H distributions overlap, suggesting a possible catalytic role of phyllosilicates in the formation of organics. In contrast, the carbonate band is anticorrelated with water+organic combination, however uncorrelated with any other spectral feature. The average ratio of asymmetric CH2 and CH3 band strengths (CH2/CH3 = 2.53) for NWA 852 is similar to the average ratio of interplanetary dust particles (~2.40) and Wild 2 cometary dust particles (2.50), but it significantly exceeds that of interstellar medium objects (~1.00) and several aqueously altered carbonaceous chondrites (~1.40). This suggests organics of similar length/branching, and perhaps similar formation regions, for NWA 852, Wild 2 dust particles, and interplanetary dust particles. The heterogeneous spatial distribution of ratio values indicates the presence of a mixture of aliphatic organic material with different length/branching, and thus a wide range of parent body processes, which occurred before the considered grain was formed.”