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Open Astronomy

formerly Baltic Astronomy

Editor-in-Chief: Barbuy, Beatriz

IMPACT FACTOR 2017 (Baltic Astronomy): 0.417
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Volume 23, Issue 2


Cosmic-Ray Induced Diffusion in Interstellar Ices

Juris Kalvāns
  • Engineering Research Institute “Ventspils International Radio Astronomy Center” of Ventspils University College, Inženieru 101, Ventspils, LV-3601, Latvia
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Published Online: 2017-02-18 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/astro-2017-0178


Cosmic rays are able to heat interstellar dust grains. This may enhance molecule mobility in icy mantles that have accumulated on the grains in dark cloud cores. A three-phase astrochemical model was used to investigate the molecule mobility in interstellar ices. Specifically, diffusion through pores in ice between the subsurface mantle and outer surface, assisted by whole-grain heating, was considered. It was found that the pores can serve as an efficient transport route for light species. The diffusion of chemical radicals from the mantle to the outer surface are most effective. These species accumulate in the mantle because of photodissociation by the cosmic-ray induced photons. The faster diffusion of hydrogen within the warm ice enhances the hydrogenation of radicals on pore surfaces. The overall result of the whole grain heating-induced radial diffusion in ice are higher abundances of ice species, whose synthesis involve light radicals. Examples of stable species synthesized this way include complex organic molecules, OCS, H2O2 and cyanoplyynes.

Keywords: astrochemistry; molecular processes; ISM: clouds; ISM: molecules; ISM: cosmic rays


About the article

Received: 2014-04-16

Revised: 2014-07-15

Accepted: 2014-07-27

Published Online: 2017-02-18

Published in Print: 2014-06-01

Citation Information: Open Astronomy, Volume 23, Issue 2, Pages 137–149, ISSN (Online) 2543-6376, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/astro-2017-0178.

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© 2014 Juris Kalvāns, published by De Gruyter Open. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. BY-NC-ND 3.0

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