Surface science investigations of photoprocesses in model interstellar ices

J.D. Thrower, M.P. Collings, M.R.S. McCoustra, D.J. Burke, W.A. Brown, A. Dawes, P.D. Holtom, H.J. Fraser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


The kinetic energy of benzene and water molecules photodesorbed from astrophysically relevant ices on a sapphire substrate under irradiation by a UV laser tuned to the S1←S0 →* transition of benzene has been measured using time-of-flight mass spectrometry. Three distinct photodesorption mechanisms have been identified-a direct adsorbate-mediated desorption of benzene, an indirect adsorbate-mediated desorption of water, and a substrate-mediated desorption of both benzene and water. The translational temperature of each desorbing population was well in excess of the ambient temperature of the ice matrix
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)919-924
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Vacuum Science and Technology A
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2008


  • model interstellar ices
  • astrophysics


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