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.



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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