Abstract

For the first time, 60 large diamond aggregates were found inside the Popigai meteorite crater during washing of alluvial deposits along the Dogoi river crossing the crater. These aggregates are similar in appearance to yakutites from the placers of Northern Yakutia (YPY), and we regard them as yakutites from the Popigai crater (YPC). The structure and optical properties of Popigai impact diamonds from the impact melt rocks (tagamites) in the crater (PIDT) and yakutites YPC/YPY were compared in detail. In all these cases, a polycrystalline structure consisting of nanoscale grains of cubic and twinned cubic diamond (lonsdaleite) was found. This is the result of a solid-phase graphite-diamond transition due to an impact event 35 million years ago. The diamond aggregates show the following features: a red shift of the short-wave edge of the transmission, broadening of the diamond Raman peaks, signals from other diamond polytypes and numerous inclusions of other minerals in the Raman spectra, and a dominant broadband photoluminescence (PL). PL in the N3 system associated with N3V centers in PIDT diamonds indicates a high-temperature annealing of these aggregates with resulting aggregation of impurities during the prolonged cooling of large impact melt pockets and pools. It is assumed that some of the impact diamonds were ejected from the crater during the impact event and experienced rapid cooling. Some of these diamonds fell back into the crater (YPC yakutites), others have been deposited outside the crater and displaced during erosion (YPY yakutites). Difference in size and shape between the PIDTs and yakutites YPC/YPY is due to the difference in size of original graphite flakes or aggregates and/or due to the fundamentally different technologies of diamond extraction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10-17
Number of pages8
JournalDiamond and Related Materials
Volume89
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2018

Keywords

  • Defects
  • Impact diamond
  • Impurities
  • Nanocrystalline diamond
  • Optical emission
  • Optical properties characterization
  • Superhard materials
  • Tagamite
  • Yakutite

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