Micro- and nano-diamond particles in carbon spherules found in soil samples

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Carbonaceous spherules of millimeter size diameter and found in the upper soils throughout Europe are investigated by TEM, including SAED, HRTEM and EELS, and Raman spectroscopy. The spherules consist primarily of carbon and have an open cell-like internal structure. Most of the carbon appears in an amorphous state, but different morphologies of nano- and microdiamond particles have also been discovered including flake shapes. The latter observation, together with the original findings of some of these spherules in crater-like structures in the landscape and including severely deformed rocks with some spherules being embedded in the fused crust of excavated rocks, points towards unique conditions of origin for these spherules and particles, possibly exogenic [1].