Water formation through O2 + D pathway on cold silicate and amorphous water ice surfaces of interstellar interest

H. Chaabouni, M. Minissale, G. Manicò, E. Congiu, J. A. Noble, S. Baouche, M. Accolla, J. L. Lemaire, V. Pirronello, F. Dulieu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


The formation of the first monolayer of water molecules on bare dust grains is of primary importance to understand the growth of the icy mantles that cover dust in the interstellar medium. In this work, we explore experimentally the formation of water molecules from O2 + D reaction on bare silicate surfaces that simulates the grains present in the diffuse interstellar clouds at visual extinctions (AV < 3 mag). For comparison, we also study the formation of water molecules on surfaces covered with amorphous water ice representing the dense clouds (AV ≥ 3 mag). Our studies focus on the formation of water molecules in the sub-monolayer and monolayer regimes using reflection absorption infrared spectroscopy and temperature-programmed desorption techniques. We provide the fractions of the products, such as D 2O and D2O2 molecules formed on three astrophysically relevant surfaces held at 10 K (amorphous olivine-type silicate, porous amorphous water ice, and nonporous amorphous water ice). Our results showed that the formation of D2O molecules occurs with an efficiency of about 55%-60% on nonporous amorphous water ice and about 18% on bare silicate grains surfaces. We explain the low efficiency of D2O water formation on the silicate surfaces by the desorption upon formation of certain products once the reaction occurs between O2 and D atoms on the surface. A kinetic model taking into account the chemical desorption of newly formed water supports our conclusions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number234706
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 21 2012
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Water formation through O2 + D pathway on cold silicate and amorphous water ice surfaces of interstellar interest'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this