Mössbauer Analyses

Key Points | Applications | Mössbauer Analyses

My research group is primarily interested in Fe-57 applications, including identifying iron mineral phases and determining the relative abundance of ferrous to ferric Fe. Mössbauer spectroscopy, however, has many fields of application, including: solid state physics, chemistry, biochemistry, metallurgy, geology and archeology. Each solid that contains nuclei suitable for Mössbauer spectroscopy has its own characteristic Mössbauer spectrum from which information on the magnetic, chemical and crystallographic properties of the solid can be deduced.

Some Key Points About Mössbauer Spectroscopy

  1. Probes nuclear (not electron) energy levels (similar to NMR)
    - short range probe, first two coordination shells
  2. Bulk, resonance absorption technique of solid materials
    - cannot be done on gases or liquids (unless frozen)
  3. Most precise physical measurement known
    - can detect change on the order of 1 in 10^12
  4. Element, isotope specific
  5. Insensitive
    -rule of thumb is 10 mg (about 200 umoles) of naturally abundant Fe
  6. Easily resolves valence states and anion coordinations
    - relative abundance easy, absolute conc. difficult
  7. With temperature data, can resolve subtle phase transformations
    - amorphous, as well as small particles
  8. Decent S/N ratio requires several hours to days
    - limits application for in situ experiments
  9. Non-destructive

Selected applications of Mössbauer Spectroscopy

  • Mineralogical and geochemical identification and characterization of iron atoms within solids
  • Monitoring of structural and quantitative changes of iron containing biomolecules (e.g., hemoglobin) in biomedical applications, such as pathological processes and environmental changes
  • Protein and membrane characterization
  • investigations of microbial-mineral interactions and biofilm formations (e.g., microbially induced corrosion)
  • Material science and magnetism thin-layer studies.

Mössbauer Analyses

We are always interested in collaborating on interesting research projects that would benefit from Fe-57 Mössbauer spectroscopy. We also provide contract services to analyze limited numbers of samples. We can provide the raw spectral data alone, or the data plus a basic interpretation and report. Prices vary depending on services, number of samples, and temperature (13K to 295K). For more information, contact michelle-scherer@uiowa.edu.