Irradiation studies of astrophysical ice analogues
In this thesis the formation of molecular species in cold icy mantles, typical of those in the interstellar medium (ISM) has been studied. The construction of an ultra high vacuum system for the formation and containment of these astrophysical ice analogues is described. The method of preparation of these ices is detailed and analysis methodologies are discussed. VUV spectra of molecular ices (e.g. SO2, CH3NH2, OCS) measured on the UV1 beam line of the Astrid Synchrotron facility at the University of Aarhus in Denmark, are presented. Molecular synthesis (e.g. CO3, CO, H2CO3) induced by ion irradiated CO2/H 2O ices using facilities at Queens University Belfast are also reported. In particular this thesis focuses on the irradiation studies of the binary ice mixture of Methylamine (CH3NH2) and Carbon Dioxide (CO2). The results of irradiation of CH3NH2 and CO2 binary ice mixtures by ultraviolet photons, and electrons are presented. The apparent production of the amino acid - glycine - in our irradiated samples is discussed together with possible production processes.