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Amorphous structure of metamict minerals observed by TEM

Naturevolume 293pages449450 (1981) | Download Citation

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Abstract

Metamict minerals are a special class of materials which were initially crystalline but have become amorphous because of accumulated structural damage caused by the radioactive decay of their constituent U and Th nuclides1–3. Damage from α particles and recoil nuclei may cause dramatic changes in physical, chemical, mechanical and structural properties of materials4–6. Thus, metamict minerals provide a natural example of the potential long-term effects of radiation damage in proposed crystalline radioactive waste forms7, such as the Sandia ceramic waste forms8–10, SYNROC11–13, super-calcine14 or the tailored ceramics15. The determination of the microstructures of metamict materials, therefore, may help to predict long-term radiation effects in crystalline waste forms. This report presents the results of an examination by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) of a wide range of metamict silicate and complex Nb–Ta–Ti oxide minerals.

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Affiliations

  1. Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 87185, USA

    • T. J. Headley
  2. Department of Geology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 87131, USA

    • Rodney C. Ewing
    •  & Richard F. Haaker

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https://doi.org/10.1038/293449a0

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