Laboratory studies of desorption in model astrophysical ice systems

Martin McCoustra, Mark Collings

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


In recent years, there has seen a very rapid growth in the investigation of model interstellar ices using ultrahigh vacuum surface science methodologies. One of the areas where the application of such techniques has proved to be particularly fruitful has been the investigation of the desorption processes that icy solids may undergo in astrophysical environments. Surface science techniques have allowed us to investigate both the thermal and non-thermal desorption mechanisms that might be at play in such astrophysical environments and extract useful information on the mechanisms and rates of such process. In turn, these have provided molecular astrophysicists with a more realistic picture of the behaviour of icy grains from which to construct their models of a range of environments in which is processing and desorption plays a crucial role. This article provides a review of the literature relating UHV surface science studies of thermal and non-thermal desorption relevant to astronomy and astrophysics from the perspective of an experimental group engaged in these studies.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFirst International Conference on Chemical Evolution of Star Forming Region and Origin of Life : Astrochem2012 : S.N. Bose National Centre for Basic Sciences, Kolkata, India, 10-13 July 2012
EditorsSandip K Chakrabarti, Kinsuk Acharyya, Ankan Das
Place of PublicationMelville, New York
PublisherAmerican Institute of Physics
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)9780735411678
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Publication series

NameAIP Conference Proceedings
ISSN (Print)0094-243X
ISSN (Electronic)1551-7616


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