A Caltech Library Service

Impact-induced shock and the formation of natural quasicrystals in the early solar system

Hollister, Lincoln S. and Bindi, Luca and Yao, Nan and Poirier, Gerald R. and Andronicos, Christopher L. and MacPherson, Glenn J. and Lin, Chaney and Distler, Vadim V. and Eddy, Michael P. and Kostin, Alexander and Kryachko, Valery and Steinhardt, William M. and Yudovskaya, Marina and Eiler, John M. and Guan, Yunbin and Clarke, Jamil J. and Steinhardt, Paul J. (2014) Impact-induced shock and the formation of natural quasicrystals in the early solar system. Nature Communications, 5 (6). Art. No. 4040. ISSN 2041-1723.

Full text is not posted in this repository. Consult Related URLs below.

Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


The discovery of a natural quasicrystal, icosahedrite (Al_(63)Cu_(24)Fe_(13)), accompanied by khatyrkite (CuAl_2) and cupalite (CuAl) in the CV3 carbonaceous chondrite Khatyrka has posed a mystery as to what extraterrestrial processes led to the formation and preservation of these metal alloys. Here we present a range of evidence, including the discovery of high-pressure phases never observed before in a CV3 chondrite, indicating that an impact shock generated a heterogeneous distribution of pressures and temperatures in which some portions reached at least 5 GPa and 1,200 °C. The conditions were sufficient to melt Al–Cu-bearing minerals, which then rapidly solidified into icosahedrite and other Al–Cu metal phases. The meteorite also contains heretofore unobserved phases of iron–nickel and iron sulphide with substantial amounts of Al and Cu. The presence of these phases in Khatyrka provides further proof that the Al–Cu alloys are natural products of unusual processes that occurred in the early solar system.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription ReadCube access
Bindi, Luca0000-0003-1168-7306
Guan, Yunbin0000-0002-7636-3735
Additional Information:© 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited. Received 26 November 2013; Accepted 06 May 2014; Published 13 June 2014. L.B. thanks M.I.U.R., P.R.I.N. 2009 project ‘Structure, microstructure and properties of minerals’, the ‘MEMA’, Centro di Microscopia Elettronica e Microanalisi, Florence, Italy, and ‘CRIST’, Centro di Cristallografia Strutturale, Sesto Fiorentino, Florence, Italy. This work was supported in part by the National Science Foundation-MRSEC program through New York University (DMR-0820341; P.J.S.), through the Princeton Center for Complex Materials (DMR-0819860; N.Y.) and NASA grant NNX11AD43G (G.J.M.). The expedition to Chukotka was supported by a grant from an anonymous donor to Princeton University (P.J.S., Principal Investigator). The study was conceived and guided by L.S.H., L.B., C.L.A., G.J.M. and P.J.S., who also led the research team. L.S.H., L.B., N.Y., G.R.P., G.J.M. and C.L. performed the SEM studies. L.S.H., L.B., N.Y., C.L., J.J.C. and P.J.S. performed the FIB-TEM studies. J.M.E. and Y.G. carried out the oxygen isotope measurements. L.B., C.L.A., G.J.M., V.V.D., M.P.E., A.K., V.K., W.M.S., M.Y. and P.J.S. participated in the scientific expedition to Chukotka in 2011 and helped to recover the new samples. L.S.H., L.B., G.J.M. and P.J.S. wrote the paper. All the authors discussed the results and commented on the manuscript. These authors contributed equally to this work: Lincoln S. Hollister, Luca Bindi & Nan Yao.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Ministero dell'Istruzione, dell'Università della Ricerca (MIUR)PRIN2009
Centro di Microscopia Elettronica e Microanalisi (MEMA)UNSPECIFIED
Centro di Cristallografia Strutturale (CRIST)UNSPECIFIED
Princeton UniversityUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:6
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20140505-132007730
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Hollister, L. S. et al. Impact-induced shock and the formation of natural quasicrystals in the early solar system. Nat. Commun. 5:4040 doi: 10.1038/ncomms5040 (2014).
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:45498
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:28 Jul 2014 00:36
Last Modified:06 Jul 2020 21:30

Repository Staff Only: item control page