A Raman Spectroscopic Study of a Fulgurite

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A Raman microspectroscopic study of several fulgurites has been undertaken. A fulgurite is an amorphous mineraloid, a superheated glassy solid that is formed when a lightning bolt hits a sandy or rocky ground and thermal energy is transferred. The Raman spectra revealed several forms of crystalline and fused silica and also the presence of polyaromatic hydrocarbons found in an interfacial zone of a glass bubble. This, together with the presence of anatase, a low-temperature polymorph of TiO2, suggested that some regions of the fulgurite specimen were not subjected to temperatures of 1800°C, which are attained when lightning hits the surface of sand or a rock.

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Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, v. 368, issue 1922, p. 3087-3097