An experimental study of proton implantation in olivine

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Implantation of ions in minerals by high energy radiation is an important process in planetary and materials sciences. For example, the solar wind is a multi-ion flux that progressively modifies the composition and structure of near-surface domains in solar objects, like asteroids. A bombardment of a target by different elements like hydrogen (H) at various energies causes, among other things, the implantation of these particles in crystalline and amorphous materials. It is important to understand the mechanisms and features of this process (e.g., how much is implanted and retained), to constrain its contribution to the chemical budget of solar objects or for planning various material-science applications. Yet, there has been no detailed study on H implantation into olivine (e.g., the quantification of maximum retainable H), a major mineral in this context. We performed experiments on H implantation in San Carlos olivine at 10 and 20 keV with increasing fluences (up to 3×1018 at/cm2). Nanoscale H profiles that result from implantation were analyzed using Nuclear Resonance Reaction Analysis after each implantation to observe the evolution of the H distribution as a function of fluence. We observed that after a systematic growth of the characteristic, approximately Gaussian shaped, H profiles with increasing fluences, a maximum concentration at H ~ 20 at% is attained. The maximum concentration is approximately independent of ion energy, but the maximum penetration depth is a function of beam energy and is greater at higher energies. The shapes of the profiles as well as the maximum concentrations deviate from those predicted by currently available models and point to the need for direct experimental measurements. We compared the depth profiles with predictions by SRIM. Based on observations from this study, we were able to constrain the maximum retainable H in olivine as a function of ion energy.




Bissbort, T., Jiang, Q., Becker, H. W., Foteinou, V., & Chakraborty, S. (2023). An experimental study of proton implantation in olivine. Physics and Chemistry of Minerals, 50(2).

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