Irradiation of oxygen and water ices at by 4 keV singly and doubly charged ions; sputtering and molecular synthesis

Elena Andra Muntean, Thomas A Field, Alan Fitzsimmons, Adam Hunniford, Pedro Lacerda, Robert W McCullough

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting abstractpeer-review


The icy surfaces of dust grains in the Interstellar Medium and those of comets, satellites and Kuiper Belt Objects are continuously exposed tophoton and charged particle irradiation. These energetic particles maysputter and induce chemical changes in the ices and the underlyingsurfaces.In the present work 258 nm thick O2 and H2O ices were deposited at 10 K with the thickness measured by a laser interferometer method. Asimple model fit to the reflected laser intensity as measured by aphotodiode detector enabled the refractive index of the ices to bedetermined. The ices were then irradiated with various singly and doublycharged ions such as He+, 13C+, N+, O+ , Ar+, 13C2+, N2+ and O2+ at 4keV. The decrease in ice thickness as a function of ion dose wasmonitored by a laser interferometer and the model used to determine thesputtering yield as shown in Figure 1.In the case of O2 ice thesputtering yields increased with increasing ion mass in good agreementwith a model calculation [Fama, J, Shi, R.A Baragiola, Surface Sci.,602, 156 (2007)]. In the case of O2 ice, O2+ has a significant lowersputtering yield when compared to O+. The sputtering yields for O2 icewere found to be at least 9 times larger compared to those for H2O ice.For H2O ice the sputter yields for C, N and O ions were found todecrease with increasing mass. Doubly charged C, N and O ions which werefound to have the same sputtering yield as the singly charged ionswithin the experimental errors. A preliminary TPD study was carried outusing a QMS to detect the desorbed species from water ice afterirradiation by 6 × 10^15 ions of 13C+ and 13C2+. The formation of13CO and 13CO2 was observed with the yield of 13CO almost of a factor of100 larger than of 13CO2. This is in contrast to our earlier work whereonly CO¬2 was observed.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBulletin of the American Astronomical Society
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014


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