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Title: Laser desorption time-of-flight mass spectrometry of ultraviolet photo-processed ices

A new ultra-high vacuum experiment is described that allows studying photo-induced chemical processes in interstellar ice analogues. MATRI²CES - a Mass Analytical Tool to study Reactions in Interstellar ICES applies a new concept by combining laser desorption and time-of-flight mass spectrometry with the ultimate goal to characterize in situ and in real time the solid state evolution of organic compounds upon UV photolysis for astronomically relevant ice mixtures and temperatures. The performance of the experimental setup is demonstrated by the kinetic analysis of the different photoproducts of pure methane (CH₄) ice at 20 K. A quantitative approach provides formation yields of several new species with up to four carbon atoms. Convincing evidence is found for the formation of even larger species. Typical mass resolutions obtained range from M/ΔM ~320 to ~400 for CH₄ and argon, respectively. Additional tests show that the typical detection limit (in monolayers) is ⩽0.02 ML, substantially more sensitive than the regular techniques used to investigate chemical processes in interstellar ices.
Authors:
; ; ;  [1]
  1. Raymond and Beverly Sackler Laboratory for Astrophysics, Leiden Observatory, Leiden University, PO Box 9513, 2300 RA Leiden (Netherlands)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22305902
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Review of Scientific Instruments; Journal Volume: 85; Journal Issue: 10; Other Information: (c) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Publisher:
Optical Society of America
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
46 INSTRUMENTATION RELATED TO NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY; CARBON; ICE; INTERSTELLAR SPACE; LASERS; MASS RESOLUTION; MASS SPECTROSCOPY; METHANE; PHOTOLYSIS; PRESSURE RANGE MICRO PA; SENSITIVITY; TEMPERATURE DEPENDENCE; TIME-OF-FLIGHT METHOD; ULTRAVIOLET RADIATION