The University of Arizona

MALDI analysis of presolar nanodiamonds: Mass spectrometric determination of the mass distribution of nanodiamonds from meteorites and a technique to manipulate individual nanodiamonds

Ian C. Lyon


This paper describes the use of matrix-assisted laser desorption and ionization (MALDI) to measure the mass distribution of nanodiamonds extracted from meteorites. The techniques used to prepare and mass analyze nanodiamond samples from the Murchison (CM2) and Allende (CV3) meteorites are described. The mass spectra of nanodiamonds (peaking at between 1 × 10^(4)–1.5 × 10^4 Daltons) are compared with size distributions obtained by point-counting transmission electron microscopy (TEM) images obtained elsewhere and reasonable agreement is found. The implications of the ability to produce and mass analyze a beam of nanodiamonds are explored.


Isotopes;Silicon carbide;Cosmochemistry;Presolar grains

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