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  Spectroscopic measurements of CH3OH in layered and mixed interstellar ice analogues

Müller, B., Giuliano, B. M., Goto, M., & Caselli, P. (2021). Spectroscopic measurements of CH3OH in layered and mixed interstellar ice analogues. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 652: A126. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/202039139.

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Müller, B.1, Author              
Giuliano, B. M.1, Author              
Goto, M., Author
Caselli, P.1, Author              
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1Center for Astrochemical Studies at MPE, MPI for Extraterrestrial Physics, Max Planck Society, ou_1950287              

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 Abstract: Context. The molecular composition of interstellar ice mantles is defined by gas-grain processes in molecular clouds, with the main components being H2O, CO, and CO2. Methanol (CH3OH) ice is detected towards the denser pre-stellar cores and star-forming regions, where large amounts of CO molecules freeze out and get hydrogenated on top of the icy grains. The thermal heating from nearby protostars can further change the ice structure and composition. Despite the several observations of icy features carried out towards molecular clouds and along the line of site of protostars, it is not yet clear if interstellar ices are mixed or if they have a layered structure. Aims. We aim to examine the effect of mixed and layered ice growth in dust grain mantle analogues, with specific focus on the position and shape of methanol infrared bands, so dedicated future observations could shed light on the structure of interstellar ices in different environments. Methods. Mixed and layered ice samples were deposited on a cold substrate kept at a temperature of 10 K using a closed-cycle cryostat placed in a vacuum chamber. The spectroscopic features were analysed by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. Different proportions of the most abundant four molecular species in ice mantles, namely H2O, CO, CO2, and CH3OH, were investigated, with a special attention placed on the analysis of the CH3OH bands. Results. We measure changes in the position and shape of the CH and CO stretching bands of CH3OH depending on the mixed or layered nature of the ice sample. Spectroscopic features of methanol are also found to change due to heating. Conclusions. A layered ice structure best reproduces the CH3OH band position recently observed towards a pre-stellar core and in star-forming regions. Based on our experimental results, we conclude that observations of CH3OH ice features in space can provide information about the structure of interstellar ices, and we expect the James Webb Space Telescope to put stringent constraints on the layered or mixed nature of ices in different interstellar environments, from molecular clouds to pre-stellar cores to protostars and protoplanetary discs.

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 Dates: 2021-08-20
 Publication Status: Published online
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 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/202039139
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Title: Astronomy and Astrophysics
  Other : Astron. Astrophys.
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: Les Ulis Cedex A France : EDP Sciences
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 652 Sequence Number: A126 Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 1432-0746
ISSN: 0004-6361
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954922828219_1