Mössbauer Spectroscopy of Meteoritic and Synthetic Fe-Ni Alloys
Abstract: This thesis reports on the results of investigating Fe-containing minerals in meteorites, with focus on Fe-Ni minerals and their magnetic properties, along with some synthetic Fe-Ni analogues. The New Halfa meteorite, which fell in Sudan 1994, has been studied using Mössbauer spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, and electron microprobe analysis techniques, and classified as an ordinary L-type chondrite of petrologic type 4. Mössbauer spectra of taenite-enriched samples from the metal particles of the New Halfa (L4) and Al Kidirate (H6) meteorites identify the following γ (fcc) Fe-Ni phases: the ferromagnetic atomically ordered taenite (tetrataenite) with ~ 50 at % Ni, the ferromagnetic disordered taenite with ~ 50 at % Ni, the low-Ni (~ 25 at %) paramagnetic taenite (antitaenite). The presence of the superstructure of tetrataenite is confirmed by synchrotron X-ray diffraction.Fe-rich γ (fcc) Fe-Ni alloys with compositions Fe79Ni21, Fe76Ni24, and Fe73Ni27, which serve as synthetic analogues of antitaenite, are prepared by mechanical alloying and subsequent annealing at 650 °C. The Mössbauer results indicate that these alloys are inhomogeneous and contain a high moment (HM) ferromagnetic Ni-rich phase (> 30 at % Ni) and a low moment (LM) paramagnetic Fe-rich phase, which orders antiferromagnetically at low temperature. The coexistence of these phases is attributed to phase segregation occurring on short range, probably nanometer scale, consistent with the Fe-Ni phase diagram below 400 °C where there is a miscibility gap associated with a spinodal decomposition in alloys with < 50 at % Ni.The combined high field Mössbauer spectroscopy and SQUID magnetometry results on these alloys at room temperature indicate large induced local magnetic moments in the paramagnetic part of the sample, which increases with increasing the Ni content. The results, when compared with the high field Mössbauer results on antitaenite from the metal particle of Al Kidirate and New Halfa meteorites may be used to estimate the Ni content of antitaenite in meteorites.High pressure 57Fe Mössbauer spectroscopy measurements up to ~ 41 GPa have been carried out at room temperature using the diamond anvil cell (DAC) technique in order to investigate the magnetic properties of γ (fcc) 57Fe53Ni47 alloy. The results indicate a pressure induced Invar effect at ~ 7 GPa and a non-magnetic or paramagnetic state above 20 GPa, demonstrating the volume dependence of the magnetic moment of γ (fcc) Fe-Ni alloys.
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