Status Report

Electron Irradiation and Thermal Chemistry Studies of Interstellar and Planetary Ice Analogues at the ICA Astrochemistry Facility

By SpaceRef Editor
September 27, 2021
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Duncan V. Mifsud, Zoltán Juhász, Péter Herczku, Sándor T. S. Kovács, Sergio Ioppolo, Zuzana Kanuchová, Máté Czentye, Perry A. Hailey, Alejandra Traspas Muina, Nigel J. Mason, Robert W. McCullough, Béla Paripás, Béla Sulik

The modelling of molecular excitation and dissociation processes relevant to astrochemistry requires the validation of theories by comparison with data generated from laboratory experimentation. The newly commissioned Ice Chamber for Astrophysics-Astrochemistry (ICA) allows for the study of astrophysical ice analogues and their evolution when subjected to energetic processing, thus simulating the processes and alterations interstellar icy grain mantles and icy outer Solar System bodies undergo. ICA is an ultra-high vacuum compatible chamber containing a series of IR-transparent substrates upon which the ice analogues may be deposited at temperatures of down to 20 K. Processing of the ices may be performed in one of three ways: (i) ion impacts with projectiles delivered by a 2 MV Tandetron-type accelerator, (ii) electron irradiation from a gun fitted directly to the chamber, and (iii) thermal processing across a temperature range of 20-300 K. The physico-chemical evolution of the ices is studied in situ using FTIR absorbance spectroscopy and quadrupole mass spectrometry. In this paper, we present an overview of the ICA facility with a focus on characterising the electron beams used for electron impact studies, as well as reporting the preliminary results obtained during electron irradiation and thermal processing of selected ices.

Comments: Published in European Physical Journal Part D: Atomic, Molecular, Optical, and Plasma Physics

Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM); Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP); Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

Journal reference: Eur. Phys. J. D (2021) 75, 182

DOI: 10.1140/epjd/s10053-021-00192-7

Cite as: arXiv:2109.11674 [astro-ph.IM] (or arXiv:2109.11674v1 [astro-ph.IM] for this version)

Submission history

From: Duncan V. Mifsud 

[v1] Thu, 23 Sep 2021 22:34:34 UTC (521 KB)

Astrobiology, Astrochemistry

SpaceRef staff editor.