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m Mossbauer spectroscopy deals with both the excited as well as

the ground state properties. It is concerned with the transitions

between energy levels with in the nuclei of atoms.
m The technique is the discovery of recoilless gamma ray
emission and absorption, now referred to as the 'Mössbauer
Effect', after its discoverer Rudolph Mössbauer, who first
observed the effect in 1957 and received the Nobel Prize in
Physics in 1961 for his work.
m Nuclei can fluorescence in much the same way as atoms do. A
major difference between nuclear and atomic fluorescence,
however, lies in the magnitude of the recoil energy involved in
the emission or absorption of a photon
m Nuclei in atoms undergo a variety of energy level transitions,
often associated with the emission or absorption of a gamma
m These energy levels are influenced by their surrounding
environment, both electronic and magnetic, which can change
or split these energy levels.
m These changes in the energy levels can provide information
about the atom's local environment within a system and ought
to be observed using resonance-fluorescence
Recoil of free nuclei in emission or absorption of a

m The Mössbauer effect as generally applied to the study of
minerals relies on the fact that 57Fe, which is a decay product
of 57Co, is unstable. 57Fe decays by giving off a gamma ray (Ȗ-
ray), along with other types of energy.
m EȖ-ray emission = Etransition - ER,


EȖ-ray emission = the energy of the emitted Ȗ-ray

Etransition = the energy of the nuclear transition
ER = the energy of the recoil.

m Along with wet chemistry, Mossbauer spectroscopy remains
the "gold standard" for quantitative determination of the
valence state of iron in minerals and identification of various
iron oxides.
m It is also well-suited for determination of the coordination
number of Fe atoms.
m It is used for microenvironment charactarisation of magnetic
m The biggest limitation of the Mossbauer is that it is inherently
a bulk technique.
m The rock-forming minerals on Earth contain Fe2+ in octahedral
coordination, and thus have very similar Mossbauer
m The most minerals exhibit a range of Mossbauer parameters as
a function of cation substitution.
m Nature of chemical bond.
m The chemical shift.
m Quadrupole effect.
m The effect of a magnetic field.
m Structure determination.
m Microenvironments-site determination.
m Microenvironment-characterization of magnetic state.
m It is used in mineralogy&geology.
Any qualitative analysis based on Mossbauer spectroscopy
boils down to identifying the individual physical or chemical
species from the corresponding patterns present in the
spectrum. Ideally, this can be done if we know the exact
correspondence between patterns and species. Such a one-to-
one correspondence between species of atoms and individual
1. R. L. Mossbauer. ÿ 

, 124 (1958).
2. G. K. Wertheim. 6 
  , AcademicNew York
3. N. N. Greenwood and T. C. Gibb.
4. V. I. Goldanskii and R. H. Herber.      
5. U. Gonser (Ed.). 6 
, Springer, Berlin (1975).