Day, Sarah Joanne (2014) Studies of cosmic dust analogues using synchrotron X-ray powder diffraction. Doctoral thesis, Keele University.

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The structural evolution of cosmic dust analogues has been investigated using in situ synchrotron X-ray powder diffraction (SXPD) at the Diamond Light Source. Amorphous Mg/Ca silicates are produced as analogues of cosmic dust using a modified sol-gel method. They are studied under non-ambient temperature and pressure conditions using in situ powder diffraction, complemented by FTIR and Raman spectroscopy. The solid-state mineralisation of amorphous grains is observed by thermal annealing and the results of this allow the environmental conditions leading to the formation of crystalline dust grains in astrophysical environments to be constrained.

The solid-gas carbonation of amorphous Ca-rich silicates is studied using in situ SXPD and analysed using full-profile fitting techniques, while the effect of ex situ carbonation on the short range ordering of amorphous grains is investigated using high energy SXPD and Pair Distribution Function (PDF) analysis. The formation of a metastable calcium carbonate phase (vaterite) is observed and the importance of this in relation to astrophysical environments is discussed.

In situ Raman and SXPD data of CO2 clathrate hydrates are presented and the importance of the Raman data obtained here with relevance to future remote sensing missions to Solar System bodies is discussed. This work indicates the importance of laboratory work to the field of astrophysics and provides novel experimental approaches to aid our understanding of astrophysical processes.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Divisions: Faculty of Natural Sciences > School of Physical and Geographical Sciences
Depositing User: Users 4 not found.
Date Deposited: 24 Nov 2015 13:34
Last Modified: 24 Nov 2015 13:34

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