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B. N. Tran, J. C. Joseph, J. P. Ferris (Renssealaer Polytechnic Institute)
A photochemical flow reactor has been used for the laboratory simulation of the formation of the volatiles and solids generated photochemically in Titan's stratosphere. These products were formed using mixing ratios of gases that approximated those on Titan (Clarke et al. 2000 Icarus in press). A detailed investigation of the real (n) and imaginary (k) parts of the refractive indices of the polymers formed in the 200 < lambda < 2,500 nm region are reported for comparison with laboratory data (Khare et al.1984, Icarus 60, 127) and observations from the Voyager spacecraft (McKay et al. 1989, Icarus 80, 23). The values of n and k were determined from a combination of transmittance and reflectance measurements in the UV and near IR. The method of calculation of Heavens (Heavans, 1965, Optical Properties of Thin Solid Films, Dover, 1965) was used to calculate n and k. n has a value of 1.5 - 1.6 throughout this wavelength region except for uncertainties in the 800-2,500 nm. The value of k increases throughout the wavelength region and has values consistent with Titan haze measurements (McKay et. al. 1989). The value of k increases from 0.02 to 0.1 in the 2,500- 12,500 nm region indicative of the absorption of functional groups including C-N, C=C and C-H. Some of the structural features of the polymer will be proposed from these and other spectral studies on this Titan haze analog. NASA funding from NAG5-9607 and the NY Center for Studies on the Origins of Life (NAG5-9607).
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