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Ion induced amorphization of forsterite

The aim of this work () was to study the structural evolution of one of the most abundant crystalline silicates observed in space driven by ion irradiation. To this aim forsterite films have been synthesised in the laboratory and irradiated with ion beams. Structural changes during ion irradiation have been monitored by infrared spectroscopy. It has been found that the fraction of crystalline forsterite converted into the amorphous form is a function of the energy deposited through elastic collisions by incoming ions. Laboratory results indicate that cosmic ion irradiation is a mechanism potentially active in space for the amorphisation of silicates.

Innocenza Busa' 2005-11-14