Epsilon carbide: A low-temperature component of interplanetary dust particles

Roy Christoffersen, P R Buseck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Transmission electron microscope study of a chondritic interplanetary dust particle has revealed the presence of epsilon iron-nickel carbide, a low-temperature carbide previously encountered only in metallurgical studies. In these studies ε-carbide was synthesized by carburization of iron or nickel grains in a stream of carbon monoxide or carbon monoxide plus hydrogen. Similar carburization of an iron-nickel metal in situ may have produced ε-carbide during particle heating on atmospheric entry or in solar orbit. Alternatively, the c-carbide may be a by-product of Fischer-Tropsch reactions in the solar nebula. Such reactions have been proposed as the mechanism of hydrocarbon formation in the early solar system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1327-1329
Number of pages3
Issue number4630
StatePublished - 1983

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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