Volume 609, January 2018
|Number of page(s)||16|
|Section||Atomic, molecular, and nuclear data|
|Published online||22 December 2017|
Using radio astronomical receivers for molecular spectroscopic characterization in astrochemical laboratory simulations: A proof of concept⋆
1 IEM, CSIC, Instituto de Estructura de la Materia, Molecular Physics Department, C/Serrano 123, 28006 Madrid, Spain
2 ICMM, CSIC, Molecular Astrophysics Group, C/ Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz 3, Cantoblanco, 28049 Madrid, Spain
3 Centro Nacional de Tecnologías Radioastronómicas y Aplicaciones Geoespaciales (CNTRAG), Observatorio de Yebes (IGN), Spain
4 ICMM, CSIC, Materials Science Factory, Structure of Nanoscopic Systems Group, ESISNA, C/ Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz 3, Cantoblanco, 28049 Madrid, Spain
5 Centro de Astrobiología (CAB-CSIC/INTA), Carretera Torrejón a Ajalvir km 4, Torrejón de Ardoz, 28850 Madrid, Spain
6 Grupo de Espectroscopía Molecular (GEM), Edificio Quifima, Área de Química-Física, Laboratorios de Espectroscopía y Bioespectroscopía, Parque Científico UVa, Unidad Asociada CSIC, Universidad de Valladolid, 47011 Valladolid, Spain
7 Departamento de Química Física, Facultad de Ciencias y Tecnologías Químicas, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, Avda. Camilo José Cela 1B, 13071 Ciudad Real, Spain
8 European Space Astronomy Centre, ESA, PO Box 78, 28691 Villanueva de la Cañada, Madrid, Spain
9 LAPLACE (Laboratoire Plasma et Conversion d’Énergie); Université de Toulouse; CNRS, UPS, INPT; 118 route de Narbonne, 31062 Toulouse Cedex 9, France
10 Université de Toulouse, UPS-OMS, IRAP, 31000 Toulouse, France
11 CNRS, IRAP, 9 Av. Colonel Roche, BP 44346, 31028 Toulouse Cedex 4, France
Received: 10 April 2017
Accepted: 21 September 2017
We present a proof of concept on the coupling of radio astronomical receivers and spectrometers with chemical reactors and the performances of the resulting setup for spectroscopy and chemical simulations in laboratory astrophysics. Several experiments including cold plasma generation and UV photochemistry were performed in a 40 cm long gas cell placed in the beam path of the Aries 40 m radio telescope receivers operating in the 41–49 GHz frequency range interfaced with fast Fourier transform spectrometers providing 2 GHz bandwidth and 38 kHz resolution. The impedance matching of the cell windows has been studied using different materials. The choice of the material and its thickness was critical to obtain a sensitivity identical to that of standard radio astronomical observations. Spectroscopic signals arising from very low partial pressures of CH3OH, CH3CH2OH, HCOOH, OCS, CS, SO2 (<10-3 mbar) were detected in a few seconds. Fast data acquisition was achieved allowing for kinetic measurements in fragmentation experiments using electron impact or UV irradiation. Time evolution of chemical reactions involving OCS, O2 and CS2 was also observed demonstrating that reactive species, such as CS, can be maintained with high abundance in the gas phase during these experiments.
Key words: methods: laboratory: molecular / instrumentation: spectrographs / astrochemistry / molecular data
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© ESO, 2017
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