Xenon and iodine reveal multiple distinct exotic xenon components in Efremovka "nanodiamonds"

Jamie Gilmour, Greg Holland, A. B. Verchovsky, A. V. Fisenko, Sarah Crowther, Grenville Turner

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    73 Downloads (Pure)


    We identify new xenon components in a nanodiamond-rich residue from the reduced CV3 chondrite Efremovka. We demonstrate for the first time that these, and the previously identified xenon components Xe-P3 and Xe-P6, are associated with elevated I/Xe ratios. The 129I/127I ratio associated with xenon loss from these presolar compositions during processing on planetesimals in the early solar system was (0.369 ± 0.019) × 10−4, a factor of 3–4 lower than the canonical value. This suggests either incorporation of iodine into carbonaceous grains before the last input of freshly synthesized 129I to the solar system’s precursor material, or loss of noble gases during processing of planetesimals around 30 Myr after solar system formation. The xenon/iodine ratios and model closure ages were revealed by laser step pyrolysis analysis of a neutron-irradiated, coarse-grained nanodiamond separate. Three distinct low temperature compositions are identified by characteristic I/Xe ratios and 136Xe/132Xe ratios. There is some evidence of multiple compositions with distinct I/Xe ratios in the higher temperature releases associated with Xe-P6. The presence of iodine alongside Q-Xe and these components in nanodiamonds constrains the pathway by which extreme volatiles entered the solid phase and may facilitate the identification of their carriers. There is no detectable iodine contribution to the presolar Xe-HL component, which is released at intermediate temperatures; this suggests a distinct trapping process. Releases associated with the other components all include significant contributions of 128Xe produced from iodine by neutron capture during reactor irradiation. We propose a revised model relating the origin of Xe-P3 (which exhibits an s-process deficit) through a “Q-process” to the Q component (which makes the dominant contribution to the heavy noble gas budget of primitive material). The Q-process incorporates noble gases and iodine into specific carbonaceous phases with mass dependent fractionation relative to the ambient composition. Q-Xe is dominated by the products of this “Q-process” occurring shortly before or during solar system formation. Carriers that trapped xenon by earlier Q-process events were altered, perhaps by supernova shocks, converting some Q carriers into P3 carriers. Unlike Q carriers, these carriers preserve the isotopic signature of the xenon they trapped through oxidation of samples in the laboratory. P3 carriers thus disproportionately sample xenon that was incorporated before galactic chemical evolution had produced the solar xenon signature by enriching ambient xenon with s-process material.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)78-93
    Number of pages15
    JournalGeochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
    Early online date31 Dec 2015
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2016


    Dive into the research topics of 'Xenon and iodine reveal multiple distinct exotic xenon components in Efremovka "nanodiamonds"'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this