Volume 1 Issue 3
September  2022
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Ao Li, Xiao Chen, Lijian Song, Wei Xu, Juntao Huo, Guoxin Chen, Meng Gao, Ming Li, Lei Zhang, Bingnan Yao, Min Ji, Yan Zhang, Shaofan Zhao, Wei Yao, Yanhui Liu, Junqiang Wang, Haiyang Bai, Zhigang Zou, Mengfei Yang, Weihua Wang. Taking advantage of glass: Capturing and retaining of the helium gas on the moon[J]. Materials Futures, 2022, 1(3): 035101. doi: 10.1088/2752-5724/ac74af
Citation: Ao Li, Xiao Chen, Lijian Song, Wei Xu, Juntao Huo, Guoxin Chen, Meng Gao, Ming Li, Lei Zhang, Bingnan Yao, Min Ji, Yan Zhang, Shaofan Zhao, Wei Yao, Yanhui Liu, Junqiang Wang, Haiyang Bai, Zhigang Zou, Mengfei Yang, Weihua Wang. Taking advantage of glass: Capturing and retaining of the helium gas on the moon[J]. Materials Futures, 2022, 1(3): 035101. doi: 10.1088/2752-5724/ac74af
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Taking advantage of glass: Capturing and retaining of the helium gas on the moon

© 2022 The Author(s). Published by IOP Publishing Ltd on behalf of the Songshan Lake Materials Laboratory
Materials Futures , Volume 1, Number 3
  • Received Date: 2022-05-29
  • Accepted Date: 2022-05-29
  • Publish Date: 2022-06-24
  • Helium-3 (3He) is a noble gas that has critical applications in scientific research and promising application potential as clean fusion energy. It is thought that the lunar regolith contains large amounts of helium, but it is challenging to extract because most helium atoms are reserved in defects of crystals or as solid solutions. Here, we find large amounts of helium bubbles in the glassy surface layer of ilmenite particles that were brought back by the Chang’E-5 mission. The special disordered atomic packing structure of glasses should be the critical factor for capturing the noble helium gas. The reserves in bubbles do not require heating to high temperatures to be extracted. Mechanical methods at ambient temperatures can easily break the bubbles. Our results provide insights into the mechanism of helium gathering on the moon and offer guidance on future in situ extraction.

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