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Laboratory Experiments on the Radiation Astrochemistry of Water Ice Phases

Mifsud, Duncan V., Hailey, Perry A., Herczku, Péter, Juhász, Zoltán, Kovács, Sándor T. S., Sulik, Béla, Ioppolo, Sergio, Kaňuchová, Zuzana, McCullough, Robert W., Paripás, Béla, and others. (2022) Laboratory Experiments on the Radiation Astrochemistry of Water Ice Phases. European Physical Journal D, 76 . Article Number 87. ISSN 1434-6060. E-ISSN 1434-6079. (doi:10.1140/epjd/s10053-022-00416-4) (KAR id:95528)


Water (H2O) ice is ubiquitous component of the universe, having been detected in a variety of interstellar and Solar System environments where radiation plays an important role in its physico-chemical transformations. Although the radiation chemistry of H2O astrophysical ice analogues has been well studied, direct and systematic comparisons of different solid phases are scarce and are typically limited to just two phases. In this article, we describe the results of an in-depth study of the 2 keV electron irradiation of amorphous solid water (ASW), restrained amorphous ice (RAI) and the cubic (Ic) and hexagonal (Ih) crystalline phases at 20 K so as to further uncover any potential dependence of the radiation physics and chemistry on the solid phase of the ice. Mid-infrared spectroscopic analysis of the four investigated H2O ice phases revealed that electron irradiation of the RAI, Ic, and Ih phases resulted in their amorphization (with the latter undergoing the process more slowly) while ASW underwent compaction. The abundance of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) produced as a result of the irradiation was also found to vary between phases, with yields being highest in irradiated ASW. This observation is the cumulative result of several factors including the increased porosity and quantity of lattice defects in ASW, as well as its less extensive hydrogen-bonding network. Our results have astrophysical implications, particularly with regards to H2O-rich icy interstellar and Solar System bodies exposed to both radiation fields and temperature gradients.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1140/epjd/s10053-022-00416-4
Uncontrolled keywords: astrochemistry, planetary science, water ice, phase chemistry, electron-induced chemistry
Subjects: Q Science > QC Physics > QC173.45 Condensed Matter
Q Science > QD Chemistry > QD478 Solid State Chemistry
Q Science > QB Astronomy
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Natural Sciences > Physics and Astronomy
Depositing User: Duncan Mifsud
Date Deposited: 23 Jun 2022 11:04 UTC
Last Modified: 09 Jan 2024 21:30 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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