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Maria Elisabetta Palumbo

Solid-phase chemistry driven by energetic processing

(Volume 84 - Année 2015 — Actes de colloques — Workshop d'astrochimie expérimentale)
Open Access

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Mots-clés : CO2, COS, glace, nuage moléculaire, OCS, poussière


Molecules in the solid phase have been detected in the line of sight of quiescent molecular clouds and star forming regions as icy mantles on dust grains. Although about 10 molecular species have been firmly identified in icy grain mantles, it is believed that many, also complex, species are present in the solid phase which are not detected due to the detection limits of infrared spectroscopy. It is generally accepted that some of the observed species (such as CO) freeze out from the gas phase while others (such as water and methanol) are formed on grains after surface reactions. Other species (such as CO2 and OCS), are not expected to freeze out in significant amount from the gas phase and grain surface models do not account for their observed abundance. It has been suggested that these molecules, along with other more complex species, are formed after energetic processing (i.e. cosmic ion and UV irradiation) of icy grain mantles. All these species are released to the gas-phase after desorption of icy mantles. Here we will present some recent laboratory experiments which show the formation of (complex) molecular species after energetic processing of simple ices. Icy targets have been processed by ion bombardment and UV photolysis both in separate experiments and recently, for the first time, simultaneously. When C-rich species are present in the initial ice, an organic refractory material is also formed.

Keywords : CO2, COS, dust, ice, molecular cloud, OCS

To cite this article

Maria Elisabetta Palumbo, «Solid-phase chemistry driven by energetic processing», Bulletin de la Société Royale des Sciences de Liège [En ligne], Volume 84 - Année 2015, Actes de colloques, Workshop d'astrochimie expérimentale, 33 - 41 URL :

About: Maria Elisabetta Palumbo

INAF - Osservatorio Astrofisico di Catania, Via Santa Sofia 78, 95123 Catania, Italy,