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Ion irradiation of N2O ices and NO2:N2O4 ice mixtures: first steps to understand the evolution of molecules with the N−O bond in space

Fulvio, Daniele; Baratta, G. A.; Sivaraman, B.; Mason, N. J.; da Silveira, E. F.; de Barros, A. L. F.; Pandoli, O.; Strazzulla, G. and Palumbo, M. E. (2019). Ion irradiation of N2O ices and NO2:N2O4 ice mixtures: first steps to understand the evolution of molecules with the N−O bond in space. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 483(1) pp. 381–391.

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Astronomical observations towards star forming regions have revealed the presence of molecules with the N-O bond such as NO, N2O, and HNO. These species are considered potential precursors of prebiotic molecules. Thus understanding nitrogen and oxygen chemistry may help us to better understand the origin and evolution of prebiotic molecules in space. However, species with the N−O bond are poorly studied and laboratory works on the effects induced on them by solar wind and galactic cosmic rays are still scarce. For this, we wanted to study the effects of ion bombardment on molecules with the N−O bond. We focus here on N2O ices and NO2:N2O4 = 1:1 ice mixtures (at 16 and 50/60 K) irradiated with 200 keV protons. Infrared transmission spectroscopy (8000−500 cm-¹; 1.25−20 μm) was used to analyze the samples. Irradiation of N2O ices and NO2:N2O4 ice mixtures produces comparable effects independent of the irradiation temperature, NO being the main product. Moreover, we show that the maximum amount of N2O and N2O4 destroyed by irradiation, at the highest dose reached in our experiments, is equal to about 98 and 70%, respectively. The dose range covered in the experiments has been compared with the astrophysical timescale of surface processing in space, showing that irradiation of N2O and NO2:N2O4 mixtures can produce, within 10⁵−10⁸ years, amounts of solid NO ice detectable towards star forming regions by the James Webb Space Telescope.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2018 The Authors
ISSN: 1365-2966
Keywords: Astrochemistry; Methods; laboratory; molecular; Techniques: spectroscopic; Kuiper belt; general; ISM; molecules; ISM; cosmic rays
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) > Physical Sciences
Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
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Item ID: 57978
SWORD Depositor: Jisc Publications-Router
Depositing User: Jisc Publications-Router
Date Deposited: 30 Nov 2018 11:55
Last Modified: 03 May 2019 06:00
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