Z. R. Dai

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, California, United States

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Publications (80)390.68 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Synthetic CdZnTe or “CZT” crystals are highly suitable for γ-spectrometers operating at the room temperature. Secondary phases (SP) in CZT are known to inhibit detector performance, particularly when they are present in large numbers or dimensions. These SP may exist as voids or composites of non-cubic phase metallic Te layers with bodies of polycrystalline and amorphous CZT material and voids. Defects associated with crystal twining may also influence detector performance in CZT. Using transmission electron microscopy, we identify two types of defects that are on the nano scale. The first defect consists of 40 nm diameter metallic Pd/Te bodies on the grain boundaries of Te-rich composites. Although the nano-Pd/Te bodies around these composites may be unique to the growth source of this CZT material, noble metal impurities like these may contribute to SP formation in CZT. The second defect type consists of atom-scale grain boundary dislocations. Specifically, these involve inclined “finite-sized” planar defects or interfaces between layers of atoms that are associated with twins. Finite-sized twins may be responsible for the subtle but observable striations that can be seen with optical birefringence imaging and synchrotron X-ray topographic imaging.
    MRS Proceedings. 12/2010; 1341.
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract— The Stardust sample return capsule returned to Earth in January 2006 with primitive debris collected from comet 81P/Wild-2 during the flyby encounter in 2004. In addition to the cometary particles embedded in low-density silica aerogel, there are microcraters preserved in the aluminum foils (1100 series; 100 μm thick) that are wrapped around the sample tray assembly. Soda lime spheres (˜49 μm in diameter) have been accelerated with a light gas gun into flight-grade aluminum foils at 6.35 km s−1 to simulate the capture of cometary debris. The experimental craters have been analyzed using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and X-ray energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDX) to locate and characterize remants of the projectile material remaining within the craters. In addition, ion beam-induced secondary electron imaging has proven particularly useful in identifying areas within the craters that contain residue material. Finally, high-precision focused ion beam (FIB) milling has been used to isolate and then extract an individual melt residue droplet from the interior wall of an impact. This has enabled further detailed elemental characterization that is free from the background contamination of the aluminum foil substrate. The ability to recover “pure” melt residues using FIB will significantly extend the interpretations of the residue chemistry preserved in the aluminum foils returned by Stardust.
    Meteoritics & Planetary Science. 01/2010; 41(2):159 - 165.
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    ABSTRACT: This work focuses on the 3. Resultsanddiscussioncharacterization of 10×10×10mm3 THM-grown CdZnTe detector-grade crystals that have been post-growth annealed to remove the secondary phases (SPs). All three detectors showed an average energy resolution of ∼1.63% for a small guarded pixel with 3.5mm diameter, measured using 137Cs—662keV with an average peak-to-Compton ratio of 2.7. The characterization showed vestiges of SPs and micro-twins present in some of the crystals indicating that the SPs prior to annealing were large and had size in the range of 100–500μm. The various detectable structural features, such as micron twins, strains and sub-micron level of Te inclusions seemed to have little or no influence in the radiation spectrometer performance of the detectors; this is possibly because they are either having low density or electrically inactive.
    Journal of Crystal Growth 01/2010; 312(4):507-513. · 1.55 Impact Factor
  • John P. Bradley, Zu Rong Dai
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract— Electron-beam studies of extraterrestrial materials with significantly improved spatial resolution, energy resolution, and sensitivity are enabled using a 300 keV SuperSTEM scanning transmission electron microscope (STEM) with a monochromator and two spherical aberration correctors. The improved technical capabilities enable analyses previously not possible. Mineral structures can be directly imaged and analyzed with single-atomic-column resolution, liquids, and implanted gases can be detected, and UV-VIS optical properties can be measured. Detection limits for minor/trace elements in thin (<100 nm thick) specimens are improved such that quantitative measurements of some extend to the sub-500 ppm level. Electron energy-loss spectroscopy (EELS) can be carried out with 0.10–0.20 eV energy resolution and atomic-scale spatial resolution such that variations in oxidation state from one atomic column to another can be detected. Petrographic mapping is extended down to the atomic scale using energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) and energy-filtered transmission electron microscopy (EFTEM) imaging. Technical capabilities and examples of the applications of SuperSTEM to extraterrestrial materials are presented, including the UV spectral properties and organic carbon K-edge fine structure of carbonaceous matter in interplanetary dust particles (IDPs), X-ray elemental maps showing the nanometer-scale distribution of carbon within GEMS (glass with embedded metal and sulfides), the first detection and quantification of trace Ti in GEMS using EDS, and detection of molecular H2O in vesicles and implanted H2 and He in irradiated mineral and glass grains.
    Meteoritics & Planetary Science. 09/2009; 44(10):1627 - 1642.
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    ABSTRACT: Synthetic Cd1–x Zn x Te or “CZT” crystals are highly suitable for γ-spectrometers operating at room temperature. Secondary phases (SP) within CZT, presumed to be Te metal, have detrimental impacts on the charge collection efficiency of fabricated device. Using analytical techniques rather than arbitrary theoretical definitions, we identify two SP morphologies: (i) many void, 20-μm “negative” crystals with 65-nm nanoparticle residues of Si, Cd, Zn, and Te and (ii) 20-μm hexagonal-shaped bodies, which are composites of metallic Te layers with cores of amorphous and polycrystalline CZT material that surround the voids.
    Journal of Materials Research. 03/2009; 24(04):1361 - 1367.
  • Advanced Materials 01/2009; 21(8):890 - 896. · 14.83 Impact Factor
  • Advanced Materials - ADVAN MATER. 01/2009; 21(8).
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    ABSTRACT: We used focused ion beam thin section preparation and scanning transmission electron microscopy (FIB/STEM) to examine the interfacial region between spinel and host melilite for spinel grains in type B1 inclusions from the Allende and Leoville carbonaceous chondrites. Boundary clinopyroxenes decorating spinel surfaces have compositions similar to those of coarser clinopyroxenes from the same region of the inclusion, suggesting little movement after formation. Host melilite displays no anomalous compositions near the interface and late-stage minerals are not observed, suggesting that boundary pyroxenes did not form by crystallization of residual liquid. Allende spinels display either direct spinel-melilite contact or an intervening boundary clinopyroxene between the two phases. Spinel-melilite interfacial regions in a Leoville B1 are more complex, with boundary clinopyroxene, as observed in Allende, but also variable amounts of glass, secondary calcite, perovskite, and an Mg-, Al-, OH-rich and Ca-, Si-poor crystalline phase that may be a layered double hydrate. One possible scenario of formation for the glass veins is that open system alteration of melilite produced a porous, hydrated aggregate of Mg-carpholite or sudoite + aluminous diopside that was shock melted and quenched to a glass. The hydrated crystalline phase we observed may have been a shocked remnant of the precursor phase assemblage, but is more likely to have formed later by alteration of the glass. In the mantle, boundary clinopyroxenes may have been crystallized from Ti-rich liquids formed by the direct dissolution of perovskite and an associated Sc-Zr-rich phase or as a reaction product between dissolving perovskite and liquid. In the core, any perovskite and associated Ti-enriched liquids that may have originally been present disappeared before the growth of boundary clinopyroxene, and the observed boundary clinopyroxene may have nucleated and grown from the liquid, along with the larger core clinopyroxene.
    01/2009;
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    J. P. Bradley, Z. R. Dai
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    ABSTRACT: GEMS (glass with embedded metal and sulfides) grains in interplanetary dust particles (IDPs) were examined using 200 keV analytical transmission electron microscopy. The morphologies and crystallography of embedded relict grains reveal that GEMS are pseudomorphs formed by irradiation processing of crystals free-floating in space. Some GEMS retain a compositional and morphological "memory" of the crystal from which they formed. Pseudomorphism may rule out condensation, annealing, flash heating, or shock melting as alternative mechanisms of GEMS formation. A significant and often dominant fraction of the atoms in GEMS were sputter-deposited from other grains. Therefore, a normal (solar) isotopic composition is not a reliable indicator of whether GEMS formed in the solar system or in presolar interstellar or circumstellar environments.
    The Astrophysical Journal 12/2008; 617(1):650. · 6.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: While a significant fraction of silicate dust in stellar winds has a crystalline structure, in the interstellar medium nearly all of it is amorphous. One possible explanation for this observation is the amorphization of crystalline silicates by relatively "low" energy, heavy-ion cosmic rays. Here we present the results of multiple laboratory experiments showing that single-crystal synthetic forsterite (Mg2SiO4) amorphizes when irradiated by 10 MeV Xe ions at large enough fluences. Using modeling, we extrapolate these results to show that 0.1-5.0 GeV heavy-ion cosmic rays can rapidly (~70 Myr) amorphize crystalline silicate grains ejected by stars into the interstellar medium.
    The Astrophysical Journal 12/2008; 662(1):372. · 6.73 Impact Factor
  • Geochmica et Cosmochimica Acta 07/2008; 72(12).
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    ABSTRACT: We are investigating the predicted correlation between Mg/Si and isotope anomalies by measuring the chemical and isotopic compositions of individual GEMS.
    03/2008;
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    ABSTRACT: (S)TEM study of Ti-pyroxene (fassaite) and osbornite inclusions in the refractory minerals within the CAI "Inti" from comet P81/Wild-2 suggests a common inner-solar origin for fassaite. Inti is unlikely to originate outside of the solar system.
    03/2008;
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    ABSTRACT: A FEI high-base Titan 80-300 (scanning) transmission electron microscope (S/TEM)has been installed at LLNL. It is first 300 kV analytical superSTEM that combines double Cs correctors and monochromator in one. Some preliminary results will be shown.
    03/2008;
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    ABSTRACT: We are investigating the effect of capture-heating on iron sulphides impacted into Al foils to aid interpretation of Stardust residues. We find melting, S-loss, and recrystallisation of phases produced by target-impactor mixing.
    03/2008;
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    ABSTRACT: Si nanocrystals 1−10 nm in size highly resistant to oxidation were prepared by thermal (680 °C) or gold-induced (450−600 °C) decomposition of tetramethylsilane and tetraethylsilane using trioctylamine as an initial solvent. Transmission electron microscopy analysis of samples obtained in the presence of gold showed that Si nanocrystals form via solid-phase epitaxial attachment of Si to the gold crystal lattice. The results of computational modeling performed using first principles density functional theory calculations show that the enhanced stability of nanocrystals to oxidation is due to the presence of N or N-containing groups on the surface of nanocrystals.
    Journal of Physical Chemistry C - J PHYS CHEM C. 02/2008; 112(10).
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    ABSTRACT: The Stardust mission returned the first sample of a known outer solar system body, comet 81P/Wild 2, to Earth. The sample was expected to resemble chondritic porous interplanetary dust particles because many, and possibly all, such particles are derived from comets. Here, we report that the most abundant and most recognizable silicate materials in chondritic porous interplanetary dust particles appear to be absent from the returned sample, indicating that indigenous outer nebula material is probably rare in 81P/Wild 2. Instead, the sample resembles chondritic meteorites from the asteroid belt, composed mostly of inner solar nebula materials. This surprising finding emphasizes the petrogenetic continuum between comets and asteroids and elevates the astrophysical importance of stratospheric chondritic porous interplanetary dust particles as a precious source of the most cosmically primitive astromaterials.
    Science 02/2008; 319(5862):447-50. · 31.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We report transmission electron microscopy (TEM) investigations of micro-craters that originated from hypervelocity impacts of comet 81P/Wild 2 dust particles on the aluminium foil of the Stardust collector. The craters were selected by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and then prepared by focused ion beam (FIB) milling techniques in order to provide electron transparent crosssections for TEM studies. The crater residues contain both amorphous and crystalline materials in varying proportions and compositions. The amorphous component is interpreted as resulting from shock melting during the impact and the crystalline phases as relict minerals. The latter show evidence for shock metamorphism. Based on the residue morphology and the compositional variation, the impacting particles are inferred to have been dominated by mixtures of submicron olivine, pyroxene and Fe sulfide grains, in agreement with prior results of relatively coarse-grained mineral assemblages in the aerogel collector.
    Meteoritics & planetary science 02/2008; · 2.80 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract— We compare the observed composition ranges of olivine, pyroxene, and Fe-Ni sulfides in Wild 2 grains with those from chondritic interplanetary dust particles (IDPs) and chondrite classes to explore whether these data suggest affinities to known hydrous materials in particular. Wild 2 olivine has an extremely wide composition range, from Fa0–96, with a pronounced frequency peak at Fa1. The composition range displayed by the low-calcium pyroxene is also very extensive, from Fs48 to Fs0, with a significant frequency peak centered at Fs5. These ranges are as broad or broader than those reported for any other extraterrestrial material. Wild 2 Fe-Ni sulfides mainly have compositions close to that of FeS, with less than 2 atom% Ni; to date, only two pentlandite grains have been found among the Wild grains, suggesting that this mineral is not abundant. The complete lack of compositions between FeS and pentlandite (with intermediate solid solution compositions) suggests (but does not require) that FeS and pentlandite condensed as crystalline species, i.e., did not form as amorphous phases, which later became annealed. While we have not yet observed any direct evidence of water-bearing minerals, the presence of Ni-bearing sulfides, and magnesium-dominated olivine and low-Ca pyroxene does not rule out their presence at low abundance. We do conclude that new investigations of major- and minor- element compositions of chondrite matrix and IDPs are required.
    Meteoritics & Planetary Science. 01/2008; 43(1‐2):261 - 272.
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract— Aluminum foils of the Stardust cometary dust collector are peppered with impact features of a wide range of sizes and shapes. By comparison to laboratory shots of known particle dimensions and density, using the same velocity and incidence geometry as the Stardust Wild 2 encounter, we can derive size and mass of the cometary dust grains. Using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) of foil samples (both flown on the mission and impacted in the laboratory) we have recognized a range of impact feature shapes from which we interpret particle density and internal structure. We have documented composition of crater residues, including stoichiometric material in 3 of 7 larger craters, by energy dispersive X-ray microanalysis. Wild 2 dust grains include coarse (>10 μm) mafic silicate grains, some dominated by a single mineral species of density around 3–4 g cm−3 (such as olivine). Other grains were porous, low-density aggregates from a few nanometers to 100 μm, with an overall density that may be lower than 1 g cm−3, containing mixtures of silicates and sulfides and possibly both alkali-rich and mafic glass. The mineral assemblage is very similar to the most common species reported from aerogel tracks. In one large aggregate crater, the combined diverse residue composition is similar to CI chondrites. The foils are a unique collecting substrate, revealing that the most abundant Wild 2 dust grains were of sub-micrometer size and of complex internal structure. Impact residues in Stardust foil craters will be a valuable resource for future analyses of cometary dust.
    Meteoritics & Planetary Science. 01/2008; 43(1‐2):41 - 73.

Publication Stats

1k Citations
390.68 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2004–2010
    • Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
      • Center for Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (CAMS)
      Livermore, California, United States
  • 2009
    • Savannah River National Laboratory
      Aiken, South Carolina, United States
  • 2001–2002
    • Georgia Institute of Technology
      • School of Materials Science and Engineering
      Atlanta, GA, United States