Microscopic photo of a micron image

"Tapping mode atomic force microscopy"

The micron image, collected by tapping mode AFM, is of an albite sample that was buried in a PA spodsol and allowed to weather for 3 years. The sample was then ultra-sonicated in acetone for ~ 20 min.

The albite is actually a peristerite - a very fine scale, lameller intergrowth of intergrowth of albite and oligoclase. The peristerite texture has been highlighted due to dissolution during weatheringe resulting in the appearance of (010) albite twins and peristerite lamellae. The grooves are about 20 nm wide, and ~ 1 nm deep.

A polished albite crystal as weathered in Pennsylvania spodsol. Peristerite lamellae show etching and a surface coating developed within 1-3 years.
(Photo by: Pat Maurice and Melissa Nugent)