Spatially resolved organic analysis of the allende meteorite

Renato Zenobi, Jean Michel Philippoz, P R Buseck, Richard N. Zare

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Scopus citations


The distribution of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the Allende meteorite has been probed with two-step laser desorption/laser multiphoton ionization mass spectrometry. This method allows direct in situ analysis with a spatial resolution of 1 square millimeter or better of selected organic molecules. Spectra from freshly fractured interior surfaces of the meteorite show that PAH concentrations are locally high compared to the average concentrations found by wet chemical analysis of pulverized samples. The data suggest that the PAHs are primarily associated with the fine-grained matrix, where the organic polymer occurs. In addition, highly substituted PAH skeletons were observed. Interiors of individual chondrules were devoid ofPAHs at our detection limit (about 0.05 parts per million).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1026-1029
Number of pages4
Issue number4933
StatePublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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