Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc., 478, 2753-2765 (2018/August-1)
The efficiency of photodissociation for molecules in interstellar ices.
Abstract (from CDS):
Processing by interstellar photons affects the composition of the icy mantles on interstellar grains. The rate of photodissociation in solids differs from that of molecules in the gas phase. The aim of this work was to determine an average, general ratio between the photodissociation coefficients for molecules in ice and gas. A 1D astrochemical model was utilized to simulate the chemical composition for a line of sight through a collapsing interstellar cloud core, whose interstellar extinction changes with time. At different extinctions, the calculated column densities of icy carbon oxides and ammonia (relative to water ice) were compared to observations. The latter were taken from literature data of background stars sampling ices in molecular clouds. The best-fitting value for the solid/gas photodissociation coefficient ratio was found to be ≃0.3. In other words, gas-phase photodissociation rate coefficients have to be reduced by a factor of 0.3 before applying them to icy species. A crucial part of the model is the proper inclusion of cosmic ray induced desorption. Observations sampling gas with total extinctions in excess of ≃22 mag were found to be uncorrelated to modelling results, possibly because of grains being covered with non-polar molecules.