Carbamic acid and carbamate formation in NH:CO ices – UV irradiation versus thermal processes
Université de Provence, Laboratoire de Physique des Interactions Ioniques et Moléculaires Centre de St-Jérôme, Avenue Escadrille Normandie-Niémen, 13397 Marseille, France e-mail: email@example.com
Accepted: 3 October 2008
Context. We study carbamic acid [ NH2COOH] and ammonium carbamate [ NH2COO-] [ NH4+] formation in interstellar ice analogs.
Aims. We demonstrate how carbamic acid [ NH2COOH] and ammonium carbamate [ NH2COO-] [ NH4+] can be formed from both thermal reactions and energetic photons in an NH3:CO2 ice mixture.
Methods. Infrared and mass spectroscopy are used to monitor NH3:CO2 ice mixture evolution during both warming and VUV photon irradiation.
Results. Carbamic acid and ammonium carbamate can be produced thermally in a 1:1 ratio from NH3 and CO2 above 80 K. They can be also formed in a 28:1 ratio by less efficient processes such as energetic photons. Our study and its results provide fresh insight into carbamic acid formation in interstellar ices.
Conclusions. We demonstrate that care is required to separate irradiation-induced reactivity from purely thermal reactivity in ices in which ammonia and carbon dioxide are both present. From an interstellar chemistry point of view, carbamic acid and ammonium carbamate are readily produced from the ice mantle of a typical interstellar grain and should therefore be a detectable species in molecular clouds.
Key words: astrochemistry / ISM: molecules / methods: laboratory
© ESO, 2008