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The labelling of meteoritic organic material using osmium tetroxide vapour impregnation

Pearson, V. K.; Kearlsey, A. T.; Sephton, M. A. and Gilmour, I. (2007). The labelling of meteoritic organic material using osmium tetroxide vapour impregnation. Planetary and Space Science, 55(10) pp. 1310–1318.


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We present a method for labelling and locating organic material in extraterrestrial samples in order to determine its spatial arrangement in relation to inorganic components. We have taken a suite of meteorites including carbonaceous chondrites and SNCs (Shergottite-Nakhlite- Chassignites) and attempted to locate organic material within them by labelling with using osmium tetroxide vapour impregnation. This technique is limited by the abundance of organic material within each sample, and the degree of terrestrial contamination which may contribute additional organic components or surface-contaminants that may mask indigenous organic components. Results confirm previous studies that phyllosilicates are key to organic matter accumulation in extraterrestrial environments.

Item Type: Journal Article
ISSN: 0032-0633
Keywords: organic matter, carbonaceous chondrites, martian meteorites; scanning electron microscopy; chemical labelling; phyllosilicate minerals
Academic Unit/Department: Science > Life, Health and Chemical Sciences
Science > Physical Sciences
Interdisciplinary Research Centre: Centre for Earth, Planetary, Space and Astronomical Research (CEPSAR)
Item ID: 8519
Depositing User: Iain Gilmour
Date Deposited: 12 Jul 2007
Last Modified: 02 Dec 2010 20:01
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