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Formation of Single-Magnetic-Domain Iron Particles via Vapor-Phase Nucleation: Implications for the Solar Nebula

Authors
Journal
Icarus
0019-1035
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
139
Issue
2
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1006/icar.1999.6106
Disciplines
  • Logic
  • Physics

Abstract

Abstract We report experimental evidence of the production of single-magnetic-domain iron grains via vapor-phase nucleation even in the absence of an ambient magnetic field. These single domain grains are thermodynamically stable as fully saturated magnetic dipoles. The spontaneous formation of fully magnetized single-domain iron grains, and by inference a variety of other single-domain particles such as taenite or magnetite, could greatly increase the coagulation efficiency of submicrometer-sized grains in the primitive solar nebula. An important test of this hypothesis is proposed: an examination of 20- to 50-nm diameter iron grains in the matrix of very primitive chondrites should reveal an interconnected, three-dimensional string or web-like structure within the matrix.

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