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The Ice Chamber for Astrophysics–Astrochemistry (ICA): A new experimental facility for ion impact studies of astrophysical ice analogs

Herczku, Péter, Mifsud, Duncan V., Ioppolo, Sergio, Juhász, Zoltán, Kaňuchová, Zuzana, Kovács, Sándor T. S., Traspas Muiña, Alejandra, Hailey, Perry A., Rajta, István, Vajda, István, and others. (2021) The Ice Chamber for Astrophysics–Astrochemistry (ICA): A new experimental facility for ion impact studies of astrophysical ice analogs. Review of Scientific Instruments, 92 (8). Article Number 084501. ISSN 0034-6748. E-ISSN 1089-7623. (doi:10.1063/5.0050930) (KAR id:92246)

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The Ice Chamber for Astrophysics-Astrochemistry (ICA) is a new laboratory end-station located at the Institute for Nuclear Research (Atomki) in Debrecen, Hungary. The ICA has been specifically designed for the study of the physico-chemical properties of astrophysical ice analogues and their chemical evolution when subjected to ionising radiation and thermal processing. The ICA is an ultra-high vacuum compatible chamber containing a series of IR-transparent substrates mounted in a copper holder connected to a closed-cycle cryostat capable of being cooled down to 20 K, itself mounted on a 360° rotation stage and a z-linear manipulator. Ices are deposited onto the substrates via background deposition of dosed gases. Ice structure and chemical composition are monitored by means of FTIR absorbance spectroscopy in transmission mode, although use of reflectance mode is possible by using metallic substrates. Pre-prepared ices may be processed in a variety of ways. A 2 MV Tandetron accelerator is capable of delivering a wide variety of high-energy ions into the ICA, which simulates ice processing by cosmic rays, the solar wind, or magnetospheric ions. The ICA is also equipped with an electron gun which may be used for electron impact radiolysis of ices. Thermal processing of both deposited and processed ices may be monitored by means of both FTIR spectroscopy and quadrupole mass spectrometry. In this paper, we provide a detailed description of the ICA set-up, as well as an overview of preliminary results obtained and future plans.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1063/5.0050930
Uncontrolled keywords: Instrumentation
Subjects: Q Science
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Natural Sciences > Physics and Astronomy
Funders: Royal Society (
Hungarian Scientific Research Fund (
Vega (Czechia) (
Slovak Research and Development Agency (
Depositing User: Duncan Mifsud
Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2021 15:40 UTC
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2024 18:53 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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