Characterisation of inhomogeneous inclusions in Darwin glass using ion beam analysis

M. J. Bailey, K. T. Howard, K. J. Kirkby, C. Jeynes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Darwin glass is an impact glass resulting from the melting of local rocks during the meteorite impact that formed the 1.2 km diameter Darwin Crater in western Tasmania. These glass samples have small spheroidal inclusions, typically a few tens of microns in diameter, that are of great interest to the geologists. We have analysed one such inclusion in detail with proton microbeam ion beam analysis (IBA). A highly heterogeneous composition is observed, both laterally and in depth, by using self-consistent fitting of photon emission and particle backscattering spectra. With various proton energies near 2 MeV we excite the 12C(p,p)12C resonance at 1734 keV at various depths, and thus we can probe both the C concentration, and also the energy straggling of the proton beam as a function of depth which gives information on the sample structure. This inclusion has an average composition of (C, O, Si) = (28, 56, 16) mol% with S, K, Ca, Ti and Fe as minor elements and Cr, Mn, Ni, Cu, Zn and Br as trace elements. This composition includes, at specific points, an elemental depth profile and a density variation with depth consistent with discrete quartz crystals a few microns in size.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2219-2224
Number of pages6
JournalNuclear Instruments & Methods in Physics Research. Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms
Issue number12-13
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2009


  • 3D analysis
  • EBS
  • Impact glass
  • PIXE
  • RBS
  • Silica
  • Simulated annealing


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