Probing the Allende meteorite with a miniature laser-ablation mass analyser for space application

Neuland, Maike Brigitte; Meyer, Stefan; Mezger, Klaus; Riedo, Andreas; Tulej, Marek; Wurz, Peter (2014). Probing the Allende meteorite with a miniature laser-ablation mass analyser for space application. Planetary and space science, 101, pp. 196-209. Elsevier 10.1016/j.pss.2014.03.009

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We measured the elemental composition on a sample of Allende meteorite with a miniature laser ablation mass spectrometer. This Laser Mass Spectrometer (LMS) has been designed and built at the University of Bern in the Department of Space Research and Planetary Sciences with the objective of using such an instrument on a space mission. Utilising the meteorite Allende as the test sample in this study, it is demonstrated that the instrument allows the in situ determination of the elemental composition and thus mineralogy and petrology of untreated rocky samples, particularly on planetary surfaces.
In total, 138 measurements of elemental compositions have been carried out on an Allende sample. The mass spectrometric data are evaluated and correlated with an optical image. It is demonstrated that by illustrating the measured elements in the form of mineralogical maps, LMS can serve as an element imaging instrument with a very high spatial resolution of µm scale. The detailed analysis also includes a mineralogical evaluation and an investigation of the volatile element content of Allende. All findings are in good agreement with published data and underline the high sensitivity, accuracy and capability of LMS as a mass analyser for space exploration.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute > Space Research and Planetary Sciences
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geological Sciences
08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute

UniBE Contributor:

Neuland, Maike Brigitte, Meyer, Stefan, Mezger, Klaus, Riedo, Andreas, Tulej, Marek, Wurz, Peter


500 Science > 520 Astronomy
500 Science > 530 Physics
500 Science > 550 Earth sciences & geology
600 Technology > 620 Engineering






[4] Swiss National Science Foundation




Maike Brigitte Neuland

Date Deposited:

26 Sep 2014 11:45

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:37

Publisher DOI:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Chemical composition, elemental analysis, laser ablation mass spectrometry, LIMS, time-of-flight, planetary exploration, space science, mineralogy




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