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American Mineralogist

Journal of Earth and Planetary Materials

Ed. by Baker, Don / Xu, Hongwu / Swainson, Ian


IMPACT FACTOR 2017: 2.645

CiteScore 2018: 2.55

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 1.355
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 1.103

Online
ISSN
1945-3027
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Volume 100, Issue 1

Issues

Microelectronic junctions in arsenian pyrite due to impurity and mixed sulfide heterogeneity

Jamie S. Laird
  • Corresponding author
  • CSIRO, Mineral Resources National Research Flagship, Normanby Road, Clayton, Victoria 3168, Australia
  • Centre of Excellence in Ore Deposits (CODES), University of Tasmania, Hobart 7001, Australia
  • School of Physics, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria 3010, Australia
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Colin M. MacRae
  • CSIRO, Mineral Resources National Research Flagship, Normanby Road, Clayton, Victoria 3168, Australia
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Angela Halfpenny
  • Electron Microscopy Facility, Department of Imaging and Applied Physics, Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia 6845, Australia
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Ross Large / Chris G. Ryan
  • CSIRO, Mineral Resources National Research Flagship, Normanby Road, Clayton, Victoria 3168, Australia
  • Centre of Excellence in Ore Deposits (CODES), University of Tasmania, Hobart 7001, Australia
  • School of Physics, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria 3010, Australia
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2015-01-10 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2138/am-2015-4648

Abstract

Impurities and crystal defects within the semiconducting bulk of a metal sulfide introduce energy levels within the forbidden bandgap. These levels in turn control semiconducting type and local electrical properties within single and multi-phased sulfide assemblages. Heterogeneity in sulfide semiconductivity linked to these impurities can lead to p-n micro-junction formation and potential distributions near the surface that may alter redox reactivity. Secondary gold ore genesis via a micro-galvanic effect related to heterogeneity has in the past been hypothetically linked to such micro-junctions. Understanding these regions and their interaction with weathering fluids in the regolith for example requires large-scale imaging of potential distributions associated with near-surface micro-junctions and correlation with the responsible elemental distributions. Here we investigate the existence of micro-electronic junctions in a mixed sulfide assemblage using scanning laser beam induced current (LBIC) and correlate them with pyrite-chalcopyrite interfaces mapped using combined energy-dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) and wavelength-dispersive spectroscopy (WDS) on an electron hyper-probe. Junctions in a natural assemblage are positively identified for the first time.

Keywords: Pyrite; heterogeneity; semiconductors; electrical properties; micro-junction; heterojunction; chalcopyrite; mixed sulfides; laser beam induced current; elemental mapping; metal ore genesis; electrochemical

About the article

Received: 2013-06-29

Accepted: 2014-07-15

Published Online: 2015-01-10

Published in Print: 2015-01-01


Citation Information: American Mineralogist, Volume 100, Issue 1, Pages 26–34, ISSN (Online) 1945-3027, ISSN (Print) 0003-004X, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2138/am-2015-4648.

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© 2015 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston.

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