EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 416, Number 1, March II 2004
Page(s) 235 - 241
Section Interstellar and circumstellar matter
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20031708

A&A 416, 235-241 (2004)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20031708

Surface C-H stretching features on meteoritic nanodiamonds

A. P. Jones1, L. B. d'Hendecourt1,

S.-Y. Sheu2, H.-C. Chang2, C.-L. Cheng3 and H. G. M. Hill4

1  Institut d'Astrophysique Spatiale (IAS), Université Paris Sud, Bât. 121, 91405 Orsay Cedex, France
    e-mail: Anthony.Jones@ias.u-psud.fr; Louis.DHendecourt@ias.u-psud.fr
2  Institute of Atomic and Molecular Sciences, Academia Sinica, PO Box 23-116, Taipei, Taiwan 106, ROC
    e-mail: alicesys@uchicago.edu; hcchang@po.iams.sinica.edu.tw
3  Department of Physics, National Dong Hwa University, Hua-Lien, Taiwan 974, ROC
    e-mail: clcheng@mail.ndhu.edu.tw
4  International Space University, Strasbourg Central Campus, Parc d'Innovation, 67400 Illkirch-Graffenstaden, France
    e-mail: hill@isu.isunet.edu

(Received 14 April 2003 / Accepted 1 December 2003 )

Nanometre-sized diamonds (nanodiamonds) are to date the most abundant presolar grains in primitive meteorites. They are therefore presumed to be an abundant component of the dust in the interstellar medium. What then are the expected spectroscopic signatures of these grains in the interstellar medium? In order to answer this question we have examined the infrared spectroscopic properties of the nanodiamonds extracted from the Orgueil meteorite. The nanodiamonds were surface-cleaned and hydrogenated under vacuum. The spectra of the surface C-H stretching features in the 3-5  $\mu$m region were then taken. Comparison with larger synthetic nanodiamonds shows that the spectra are size-dependent. The observed meteoritic nanodiamond C-H stretching features are very different from the features seen on the surfaces of larger diamonds (sizes $\geq$50 nm). Less-processed Orgueil nanodiamonds appear to provide an intriguing similarity to the class B infrared emission band spectra in the 3.3-3.7  $\mu$m wavelength region. The spectra of the nanodiamond C-H stretching features can be used as a template in the search for interstellar nanodiamonds in the infrared spectra of astronomical objects. In addition the size-dependence of the nanodiamond surface C-H features can be used to place rigid and robust constraints upon the sizes of these particles in circumstellar media and in the ISM.

Key words: dust, extinction -- circumstellar matter -- ISM: individual objects: Elais 1 -- ISM: individual objects: HD 97048 -- ISM: individual objects: IRAS 05341+0852 -- ISM: general

Offprint request: A. P. Jones, Anthony.Jones@ias.u-sud.fr

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