Volume 652, August 2021
|Number of page(s)||10|
|Section||Atomic, molecular, and nuclear data|
|Published online||20 August 2021|
Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik,
Garching bei München,
2 Universitäts-Sternwarte München, Scheinerstr. 1, 81679 München, Germany
Accepted: 21 June 2021
Context. The molecular composition of interstellar ice mantles is defined by gas-grain processes in molecular clouds, with the main components being H2O, CO, and CO2. Methanol (CH3OH) ice is detected towards the denser pre-stellar cores and star-forming regions, where large amounts of CO molecules freeze out and get hydrogenated on top of the icy grains. The thermal heating from nearby protostars can further change the ice structure and composition. Despite the several observations of icy features carried out towards molecular clouds and along the line of site of protostars, it is not yet clear if interstellar ices are mixed or if they have a layered structure.
Aims. We aim to examine the effect of mixed and layered ice growth in dust grain mantle analogues, with specific focus on the position and shape of methanol infrared bands, so dedicated future observations could shed light on the structure of interstellar ices in different environments.
Methods. Mixed and layered ice samples were deposited on a cold substrate kept at a temperature of 10 K using a closed-cycle cryostat placed in a vacuum chamber. The spectroscopic features were analysed by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. Different proportions of the most abundant four molecular species in ice mantles, namely H2O, CO, CO2, and CH3OH, were investigated, with a special attention placed on the analysis of the CH3OH bands.
Results. We measure changes in the position and shape of the CH and CO stretching bands of CH3OH depending on the mixed or layered nature of the ice sample. Spectroscopic features of methanol are also found to change due to heating.
Conclusions. A layered ice structure best reproduces the CH3OH band position recently observed towards a pre-stellar core and in star-forming regions. Based on our experimental results, we conclude that observations of CH3OH ice features in space can provide information about the structure of interstellar ices, and we expect the James Webb Space Telescope to put stringent constraints on the layered or mixed nature of ices in different interstellar environments, from molecular clouds to pre-stellar cores to protostars and protoplanetary discs.
Key words: astrochemistry / methods: laboratory: solid state / ISM: molecules / techniques: spectroscopic / infrared: ISM
The raw spectra are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (126.96.36.199) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/cat/J/A+A/652/A126
© B. Müller et al. 2021
Open Access article, published by EDP Sciences, under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Open Access funding provided by Max Planck Society.
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