DPS 35th Meeting, 1-6 September 2003
Session 5. Laboratory Research I
Oral, Chairs: C. A. Hibbitts and B. W. Hapke, Tuesday, September 2, 2003, 1:30-3:00pm, DeAnza I-II

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[5.06] Volatile production in nonice materials on Solar System bodies with tenuous atmospheres by ion bombardment - Laboratory results

C. A. Hibbitts (Planetary Science Institute), S. Thevuthasan, V. Shutthanandan (Pacific Northwest National Laboratory), T. Orlando (Georgia Institute of Technology), G. B. Hansen, T. B. McCord (Planetary Science Institute)

Volatiles, inferred to be trapped in nonice materials, have been discovered on the Jovian satellites and in IDPs [McCord et al., 1998; Hibbitts et al., 2000; Flynn et al., 2002]. In general, these types of volatiles may be produced through high-energy ion bombardment of Solar System bodies that have tenuous atmospheres, from the Moon to the Saturnian satellites and beyond. The surfaces of these bodies are continually bombarded by a combination of cosmic, solar, and planetary magnetospheric radiation including UV, keV protons and Helium nuclei, and more massive keV to MeV ions. The Moon’s surface contains Fe-oxides that may release water products under bombardment by solar wind protons. Many classes of asteroids and the outer planets’ satellites appear to contain clays or other OH-bearing materials that could release water-products as well under bombardment. Also, organic material, likely present on surfaces other than the Moon, may participate in bombardment reactions to form carbon monoxide or dioxide. Results from our laboratory experiments conducted at the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL) accelerator facility, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) show that volatiles are produced during MeV ion irradiation of these types of materials. We bombarded clays, oxyhydroxides, ilmenite, and carbon-doped samples with MeV hydrogen, deuterium, oxygen, and sulfur ions at current densities of 100 to 1000 namps (~ 1E12 to 1E13 ions/cm2/sec) over several minutes. Ohmic heating and outgassing of trapped atmospheric gases was minimal at the lower flux levels. Most of the irradiation effects are non-thermal and are due to ionization and momentum transfer processes. Proton or deuteron bombardment of ilmenite produces water-related molecules that are quickly released into the vacuum chamber and detected by mass spectrometry. The bombardment of carbon-doped clays appears to produce CO. This process occurs independently of any reduction of FeO involved in micrometoroid impacts [Tsay et al., 1971].

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