George R. Rossman
Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences
California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125-2500, USA
Trace concentrations of water and hydroxide are commonly bound in minerals which are normally considered anhydrous. These hydrous species influence the physical and chemical properties of the host mineral to an extent far disproportionate to their low concentration. These properties include mechanical strength, internal structural order, optical properties, dielectric constant, response to external ionizing radiation, and internal diffusion. Low concentrations of hydrous species are conveniently detected by infrared spectroscopy, but the IR method is not self-calibrating. Nuclear reaction analysis has proven to be one of the more sensitive methods to determine the absolute concentration of the hydrous species, but in practice, is subject to a variety of limitations which have reduced the accuracy of analyses of samples with water contents below 0.1%.
Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research B45 (1990) 41-44.