4 years ago

New measurements on water ice photodesorption and product formation under ultraviolet irradiation.

Gustavo A. Cruz-Diaz, Rafael Martín-Doménech, Guillermo M. Muñoz Caro, Yu-Jung Chen, Elena Moreno

The photodesorption of icy grain mantles has been claimed to be responsible for the abundance of gas-phase molecules toward cold regions. Being water a ubiquitous molecule, it is crucial to understand its role in photochemistry and its behavior under an ultraviolet field. We report new measurements on the UV-photodesorption of water ice and its H$_2$, OH, and O$_2$ photoproducts using a calibrated quadrupole mass spectrometer. Solid water was deposited under ultra-high-vacuum conditions and then UV-irradiated at various temperatures starting from 8 K with a microwave discharged hydrogen lamp. Deuterated water was used for confirmation of the results. We found a photodesorption yield of 1.3 $\times$ 10$^{-3}$ molecules per incident photon for water, and 0.7 $\times$ 10$^{-3}$ molecules per incident photon for deuterated water at the lowest irradiation temperature, 8 K. The photodesorption yield per absorbed photon is given and comparison with astrophysical scenarios, where water ice photodesorption could account for the presence of gas-phase water toward cold regions in the absence of a thermal desorption process is addressed.

Publisher URL: http://arxiv.org/abs/1711.05679

DOI: arXiv:1711.05679v1

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