Cadmium stable isotope compositions are reported for a comprehensive suite of carbonaceous, ordinary, enstatite, and Rumuruti chondrites as well as achondrites and lunar samples (soils, breccias, pristine anorthosite). The Cd isotope analyses were performed by multiple collector ICP-MS with an external reproducibility of ±0.43‰ (2 sd) for δ Cd. None of the samples shows evidence of nucleosynthetic anomalies and cosmogenic isotope effects from neutron-capture by Cd were only observed for two lunar samples. The Cd stable isotope compositions of type 1, 2, and some type 3 carbonaceous chondrites, EH4 enstatite chondrites, eucrites, and the Earth are essentially identical at δ Cd ≈ 0.0 ± 0.4. This suggests that the portion of the solar nebula from which the inner solar system bodies accreted was homogeneous with respect to its Cd isotope composition. It also indicates that the primary volatile element depletion of the inner solar system did not involve partial kinetic Rayleigh evaporation or condensation. Furthermore no resolvable Cd isotope effects were generated during the accretion and initial differentiation of the planetary bodies. In contrast, the analyses reveal large Cd isotope effects for ordinary and some enstatite chondrites, which display δ Cd values between about −8 and +16. Smaller fractionations are observed for the Rumuruti and some type 3 to 5 carbonaceous chondrites. These Cd isotope variations are thought to reflect secondary depletion or redistribution of Cd, due to open system thermal metamorphism on the meteorite parent bodies. One CAI and chondrule separates from the Allende meteorite have unexpectedly high Cd concentrations and fractionated light Cd isotope compositions with δ Cd ≈ −1 to −4. These characteristics may have been established by the interaction of originally Cd-poor materials with a volatile-rich gas prior to the final accretion of the Allende parent body. The general Cd enrichment of the lunar soil and regolith mainly reflects early volcanic activity. However, decreasing Cd abundances in lunar soils correlate well with an enrichment of the heavy Cd isotopes. This relationship is best explained by suppressed Rayleigh fractionation in response to space weathering.
Recent developments in analytical instrumentation have led to revolutionary discoveries in cosmochemistry. Instrumental advances have been made along two lines: (i) increase in spatial resolution and sensitivity of detection, allowing for the study of increasingly smaller samples, and (ii) increase in the precision of isotopic analysis that allows more precise dating, the study of isotopic heterogeneity in the Solar System, and other studies. A variety of instrumental techniques are discussed, and important examples of discoveries are listed. Instrumental techniques and instruments include the ion microprobe, laser ablation gas MS, Auger EM, resonance ionization MS, accelerator MS, transmission EM, focused ion-beam microscopy, atom probe tomography, X-ray absorption near-edge structure/electron loss near-edge spectroscopy, Raman microprobe, NMR spectroscopy, and inductively coupled plasma MS.
We describe CHILI, the Chicago Instrument for Laser Ionization, a new resonance ionization mass spectrometer developed for isotopic analysis at high spatial resolution and high sensitivity of small samples like contemporary interstellar dust grains returned by the Stardust spacecraft. We explain how CHILI addresses the technical challenges associated with such analyses by pushing most technical specifications towards their physical limits. As an initial demonstration, after many years of designing and developing CHILI, we have analyzed presolar silicon carbide grains for their isotopic compositions of strontium, zirconium, and barium. Subsequently, after further technical improvements, we have used CHILI to analyze, for the first time without interference, all stable isotopes of iron and nickel simultaneously in presolar silicon carbide grains. With a special timing scheme for the ionization lasers, we separated iron and nickel isotopes in the time-of-flight spectrum such that the isobaric interference between Fe and Ni was resolved. In-depth discussion of the astrophysical implications of the presolar grain results is deferred to dedicated later publications. Here we focus on the technical aspects of CHILI, its status quo, and further developments necessary to achieve CHILI’s ultimate goals, ∼10 nm lateral resolution and 30–40% useful yield.
At present, meteorites collected in Antarctica dominate the total number of the world's known meteorites. We focus here on the scientific advances in cosmochemistry and planetary science that have been enabled by access to, and investigations of, these Antarctic meteorites. A meteorite recovered during one of the earliest field seasons of systematic searches, Elephant Moraine (EET) 79001, was identified as having originated on Mars based on the composition of gases released from shock melt pockets in this rock. Subsequently, the first lunar meteorite, Allan Hills (ALH) 81005, was also recovered from the Antarctic. Since then, many more meteorites belonging to these two classes of planetary meteorites, as well as other previously rare or unknown classes of meteorites (particularly primitive chondrites and achondrites), have been recovered from Antarctica. Studies of these samples are providing unique insights into the origin and evolution of the Solar System and planetary bodies. ▪ Antarctic meteorites dominate the inventory of the world's known meteorites and provide access to new types of planetary and asteroidal materials. ▪ The first meteorites recognized to be of lunar and martian origin were collected from Antarctica and provided unique constraints on the evolution of the Moon and Mars. ▪ Previously rare or unknown classes of meteorites have been recovered from Antarctica and provide new insights into the origin and evolution of the Solar System. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Volume 48 is May 29, 2020. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates.
The NanoSIMS ion probe is a new‐generation SIMS instrument, characterised by superior spatial resolution, high sensitivity and multi‐collection capability. Isotope studies of certain elements can be conducted with 50–100 nm resolution, making the NanoSIMS an indispensable tool in many research fields. We review technical aspects of the NanoSIMS ion probe and present examples of applications in cosmochemistry and biological geochemistry. This includes isotope studies of presolar (stardust) grains from primitive meteorites and of extraterrestrial organics, the search for extinct radioactive nuclides in meteoritic materials, the study of lunar samples, as well as applications in environmental microbiology, cell biology, plant and soil science, and biomineralisation.
Measurements by instruments on spacecraft have significantly advanced cosmochemistry. Spacecraft missions impose serious limitations on instrument volume, mass, and power, so adaptation of laboratory instruments drives technology. We describe three examples of flight instruments that collected cosmochemical data. Element analyses by Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometers on the Mars Exploration Rovers have revealed the nature of volcanic rocks and sedimentary deposits on Mars. The Gamma Ray Spectrometer on the Lunar Prospector orbiter provided a global database of element abundances that resulted in a new understanding of the Moon's crust. The Ion and Neutral Mass Spectrometer on Cassini has analyzed the chemical compositions of the atmosphere of Titan and active plumes on Enceladus.