Trapping and desorption of complex organic molecules in water at 20 K

Daren J. Burke, Fabrizio Puletti, Paul M. Woods, Serena Viti, Ben Slater, Wendy A. Brown
2015 Journal of Chemical Physics  
Laser desorption time-of-flight mass spectrometry of ultraviolet photo-processed ices Rev. Sci. Instrum. 85, 104501 (2014); 10.1063/1.4896754 The release of trapped gases from amorphous solid water films. II. "Bottom-up" induced desorption pathways A study on the anisole-water complex by molecular beam-electronic spectroscopy and molecular mechanics calculations The formation, chemical, and thermal processing of complex organic molecules (COMs) is currently a topic of much interest in
more » ... ar chemistry. The isomers glycolaldehyde, methyl formate, and acetic acid are particularly important because of their role as pre-biotic species. It is becoming increasingly clear that many COMs are formed within interstellar ices which are dominated by water. Hence, the interaction of these species with water ice is crucially important in dictating their behaviour. Here, we present the first detailed comparative study of the adsorption and thermal processing of glycolaldehyde, methyl formate, and acetic acid adsorbed on and in water ices at astrophysically relevant temperatures (20 K). We show that the functional group of the isomer dictates the strength of interaction with water ice, and hence the resulting desorption and trapping behaviour. Furthermore, the strength of this interaction directly affects the crystallization of water, which in turn affects the desorption behaviour. Our detailed coverage and composition dependent data allow us to categorize the desorption behaviour of the three isomers on the basis of the strength of intermolecular and intramolecular interactions, as well as the natural sublimation temperature of the molecule. This categorization is extended to other C, H, and O containing molecules in order to predict and describe the desorption behaviour of COMs from interstellar ices. C 2015 AIP Publishing LLC. [http://dx.
doi:10.1063/1.4934264 pmid:26520540 fatcat:3s76dqfd4bhmjdgvpxdji56qby