MID IR Optical Constants of Orthopyroxenes.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Melinda Rucks and Timothy D Glotch, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY, United States
Orthopyroxenes are common rock forming minerals that are present on many planetary bodies as well as meteorites and cosmic dust. The presence of these minerals can give implications to the petrogenic history of these planetary bodies. Optical constants, n and k, are essential inputs into radiative transfer models which are used in remote sensing techniques. [1,2] While optical constants have been determined for orthopyroxenes with high Mg content, Fe rich orthopyroxenes have not been studied as extensively. [3] The goal of this research is to determine the optical constants of orthopyroxenes ranging in composition along the enstatite-ferrosilite solid solution, to gain a more comprehensive list of these values.

Specular reflectance spectra, in the range of 250-4000 cm-1, were obtained for several oriented single crystal samples at three crystallographic orientations for each sample. Optical constants, n and k, were then derived through modeling of measured spectra using the Matlab lsqcurvefit function.

Preveous work has identified the optical constants for two Mg rich natural samples, enstatite and hypersthene. Current research applies the above methodology to synthetic ferrosilite, the Fe rich end-member of the orthopyroxene mineral series. Future studies will provide a more comprehensive look at the variation of n and k as a function of the Mg:Fe composition.

[1] Arnold, J.A. et al (2013) (under review), [2] Glotch, T.D. and Rossman, G.R. (2009) Icarus, [3] Jäger, C. et al (1998) Astron. Astrophys.