Surface science investigations of photoprocesses in model interstellar ices

Thrower, J. D.; Collings, M. P.; McCoustra, M. R. S.; Burke, D. J.; Brown, W. A.; Dawes, A.; Holtom, P. D.; Kendall, P.; Mason, N. J.; Jamme, F.; Fraser, H. J.; Clark, I. P. and Parker, A. W. (2008). Surface science investigations of photoprocesses in model interstellar ices. Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology A, 26(4) pp. 919–924.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1116/1.2834687

Abstract

The kinetic energy of benzene and water molecules photodesorbed from astrophysically relevant ices on a sapphire substrate under irradiation by a UV laser tuned to the S1←S0 ππ* transition of benzene has been measured using time-of-flight mass spectrometry. Three distinct photodesorption mechanisms have been identified—a direct adsorbate-mediated desorption of benzene, an indirect adsorbate-mediated desorption of water, and a substrate-mediated desorption of both benzene and water. The translational temperature of each desorbing population was well in excess of the ambient temperature of the ice matrix.

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