VUV spectroscopy and photo-processing of astrochemical ices: an experimental study

Faraday Discuss. 2006;133:311-29; discussion 347-74, 449-52. doi: 10.1039/b518088k.


In order to understand much of the chemistry that underpins astronomical phenomena (e.g. star and planet formation) it is essential to probe the physico-chemistry of ice surfaces under astronomical conditions. The physical properties and chemical reactivity of such icy surfaces depends upon its morphology. Thus it is necessary to explore how the morphology of astrochemical ices is influenced by their local environment (e.g. temperature and pressure) and the mechanisms by which they are processed. In this paper we report the results of a series of experiments to explore the morphology of a variety of molecular ices using VUV spectroscopy. Spectral signatures are found that may allow the morphology of such ices to be identified.