Statistical study of uncertainties in the diffusion rate of species on interstellar ice and its impact on chemical model predictions
Laboratoire d’astrophysique de Bordeaux, Univ. Bordeaux, CNRS, B18N, allée Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, 33615 Pessac, France
Accepted: 3 October 2018
Contact. Diffusion of species on the dust surface is a key process for determining the chemical composition of interstellar ices. On the dust surface, adsorbed species diffuse from one potential well to another and react with other adsorbed reactants, resulting in the formation of simple and complex molecules.
Aims. We study the impact on the abundances of the species simulated by the chemical codes by considering the uncertainties in the diffusion energy of adsorbed species. We aim to limit the uncertainties in the abundances as calculated by chemical codes by identifying the surface species that result in a larger error because of the uncertainties in their diffusion energy.
Methods. We ran various cases with 2000–10 000 simulations in each case and varied the diffusion energies of some or all surface species randomly. We calculated Pearson correlation coefficients between the abundances and the ratio of diffusion to binding energy of adsorbed species. We identified the species that introduce maximum uncertainty in the ice and gas-phase abundances. With these species we ran three sets, with 2000 simulations in each, to quantify the uncertainties they introduce.
Results. We present the abundances of various molecules in the gas phase and also on the dust surface at different time intervals during the simulation. We show which species produce a large uncertainty in the abundances. We sorted species into different groups in accordance with their importance in propagating uncertainty in the chemical network.
Conclusions. We show that CO, H2, O, N, and CH3 are the key species for uncertainties in the abundances, while CH2, HCO, S and O2 come next, followed by NO, HS, and CH. We also show that by limiting the uncertainties in the ratio of diffusion to binding energy of these species, we can eliminate the uncertainties in the gas-phase abundances of almost all the species.
Key words: astrochemistry / ISM: molecules / ISM: clouds / ISM: abundances / diffusion / molecular processes
© ESO 2018