Using surface science techniques to investigate the interaction of acetonitrile with dust grain analogue surfaces

Ingman, Emily R, Shepherd, Amber and Brown, Wendy A (2021) Using surface science techniques to investigate the interaction of acetonitrile with dust grain analogue surfaces. Johnson Matthey Technology Review. ISSN 2056-5135

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Surface science methodologies, such as reflection-absorption infrared spectroscopy (RAIRS) and temperature programmed desorption (TPD), are ideally suited to studying the interaction of molecules with model astrophysical surfaces. Here we describe the use of RAIRS and TPD to investigate the adsorption, interactions and thermal processing of acetonitrile and water containing model ices grown under astrophysical conditions on a graphitic dust grain analogue surface. Experiments show that acetonitrile physisorbs on the graphitic surface at all exposures. At the lowest coverages, repulsions between the molecules lead to a decreasing desorption energy with increasing coverage. Analysis of TPD data gives monolayer desorption energies ranging from 28.8 - 39.2 kJ mol-1 and an average multilayer desorption energy of 43.8 kJ mol-1. When acetonitrile is adsorbed in the presence of water ice, the desorption energy of monolayer acetonitrile shows evidence of desorption with a wide range of energies. An estimate of the desorption energy of acetonitrile from CI shows that it is increased to ~37 kJ mol-1 at the lowest exposures of acetonitrile. Amorphous water ice also traps acetonitrile on the graphite surface past its natural desorption temperature, leading to volcano and co-desorption. RAIRS data show that the C≡N vibration shifts, indicative of an interaction between the acetonitrile and the water ice surface.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Graphite, Surface science, Acetonitrile, Adsorption, Astrochemistry
Schools and Departments: School of Life Sciences > Chemistry
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 16 Jul 2021 07:42
Last Modified: 26 Nov 2021 13:33

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