The structure and thermal response of amorphous ion tracks formed along the [112¯0], [101¯0], and [0001]-directions in crystalline quartz have been investigated using small angle x-ray scattering. The radii of the ion tracks vary by about 5% (0.3 nm) for tracks along different crystallographic directions. Molecular dynamics simulations reproduce this anisotropy along the [101¯0] and [0001] directions and suggest that differences in thermal conductivity along these directions are partly responsible for this observation. Using in situ annealing, tracks along the [101¯0] and [0001] directions were shown to recrystallize during thermal annealing around 960–1020 °C with activations energies around 6 eV, while those along the [112¯0]-direction already disappeared at 640 °C with a significantly lower activation energy around 3–4 eV.

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