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Iron–nickel superstructure in metal particles of chondrites


Ordered solid solutions (superstructures or superlattices), in which atoms of one kind segregate into a particular set of lattice positions, are usually obtained by slow cooling at the critical ordering temperature. However, the equiatomic Fe–Ni ordered phase (superstructure Llo) has been obtained only by radiation-induced ordering1, since the diffusion rates of the metallic atoms are very slow at the ordering temperature Tc=320 °C (ref. 2). The Fe–Ni ordered phase has recently been detected by Mössbauer spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction in the taenite of the iron meteories Cape York (III A), Toluca (I)3 and reported as a major constituent of the Ni rich ataxite (35% Ni) Santa Catharine4. We report here Mössbauer spectra, scanning electron microscopy and X-ray measurements, which show that the metal particles of the chondrites Saint-Séverin (LL6), Lake Labyrinth (LL6) and Parambú (polymitic LL breccia) contain large proportions of this Fe–Ni superstructure and that the phase is present in different amounts in the chondrites L'Aigle (L6), Peetz (L6), Shaw (L6), Bjürbole (L4) and Allegan (H5).

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Danon, J., Scorzelli, R., Azevedo, I. et al. Iron–nickel superstructure in metal particles of chondrites. Nature 281, 469–471 (1979).

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