Laboratory Synthesis of Astrophysical Molecules
A prototype apparatus has been constructed to study the synthesis of molecules on or within thin icy mantles under simulated interstellar, planetary and atmospheric environments. Molecular synthesis is stimulated by photon (4 – 13 eV lamp or synchrotron radiation), electron (< 20 eV) and ion (keV-MeV) irradiation. Products are probed by a combination of UV-Vis, FTIR and VUV spectroscopy. The first results of photoabsorption experiments of VUV irradiated water ice have shown evidence of photolysis and possible luminescence effects. These results are discussed and proposals for future experiments made
Key wordsAstrobiology Molecular Synthesis Dust Grains Interstellar Medium Dissociative Electron Attachment Photolysis
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