Physics and Chemistry on the Surface of Cosmic Dust Grains: A Laboratory View

An electron microscope image of the interplanetary dust particle (IDP) L2021D9 showing its
agglomerate nature. Reproduced from NASA catalog.

Dust grains play a central role in the physics and chemistry of cosmic environments.

They influence the optical and thermal properties of the medium due to their interaction with stellar radiation; provide surfaces for the chemical reactions that are responsible for the synthesis of a significant fraction of key astronomical molecules; and they are building blocks of pebbles, comets, asteroids, planetesimals, and planets.

In this paper, we review experimental studies of physical and chemical processes, such as adsorption, desorption, diffusion, and reactions forming molecules, on the surface of reliable cosmic dust grain analogues as related to processes in diffuse, translucent, and dense interstellar clouds, protostellar envelopes, planet-forming disks, and planetary atmospheres. The information that such experiments reveal should be flexible enough to be used in many different environments. In addition, we provide a forward look discussing new ideas, experimental approaches, and research directions.

Alexey Potapov, Martin McCoustra
Comments: Accepted for publication in International Reviews in Physical Chemistry
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA); Chemical Physics (physics.chem-ph)
Cite as: arXiv:2105.01387 [astro-ph.GA] (or arXiv:2105.01387v1 [astro-ph.GA] for this version)
Submission history
From: Alexey Potapov
[v1] Tue, 4 May 2021 09:44:44 UTC (2,143 KB)
Astrobiology, Astrochemistry

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