Porosity measurements of interstellar ice mixtures using optical laser interference and extended effective medium approximations
1 Sackler Laboratory for Astrophysics, Leiden Observatory, Leiden University, PO Box 9513, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands
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2 Kapteyn Astronomical Institute, PO Box 800, 9700 AV Groningen, The Netherlands
3 Leiden Observatory, Leiden University, PO Box 9513, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands
Received: 27 August 2013
Accepted: 29 November 2013
Aims. This article aims to provide an alternative method of measuring the porosity of multi-phase composite ices from their refractive indices and of characterising how the abundance of a premixed contaminant (e.g., CO2) affects the porosity of water-rich ice mixtures during omni-directional deposition.
Methods. We combine optical laser interference and extended effective medium approximations (EMAs) to measure the porosity of three astrophysically relevant ice mixtures: H2O:CO2 = 10:1, 4:1, and 2:1. Infrared spectroscopy is used as a benchmarking test of this new laboratory-based method.
Results. By independently monitoring the O-H dangling modes of the different water-rich ice mixtures, we confirm the porosities predicted by the extended EMAs. We also demonstrate that CO2 premixed with water in the gas phase does not significantly affect the ice morphology during omni-directional deposition, as long as the physical conditions favourable to segregation are not reached. We propose a mechanism in which CO2 molecules diffuse on the surface of the growing ice sample prior to being incorporated into the bulk and then fill the pores partly or completely, depending on the relative abundance and the growth temperature.
Key words: astrochemistry / methods: laboratory: solid state / ISM: molecules
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