Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Journal articles

Thermal desorption of formamide and methylamine from graphite and amorphous water ice surfaces

Henda Chaabouni 1, 2, * Stephan Diana 1, 2 T. Nguyen 1, 2, 3 François Dulieu 1, 2
* Corresponding author
LERMA (UMR_8112) - Laboratoire d'Etude du Rayonnement et de la Matière en Astrophysique
Abstract : Context. Formamide (NH 2 CHO) and methylamine (CH 3 NH 2) are known to be the most abundant amine-containing molecules in many astrophysical environments. The presence of these molecules in the gas phase may result from thermal desorption of interstellar ices. Aims. The aim of this work is to determine the values of the desorption energies of formamide and methylamine from analogues of interstellar dust grain surfaces and to understand their interaction with water ice. Methods. Temperature programmed desorption (TPD) experiments of formamide and methylamine ices were performed in the sub-monolayer and monolayer regimes on graphite (HOPG) and non-porous amorphous solid water (np-ASW) ice surfaces at temperatures 40-240 K. The desorption energy distributions of these two molecules were calculated from TPD measurements using a set of independent Polanyi-Wigner equations. Results. The maximum of the desorption of formamide from both graphite and ASW ice surfaces occurs at 176 K after the desorption of H 2 O molecules, whereas the desorption profile of methylamine depends strongly on the substrate. Solid methylamine starts to desorb below 100 K from the graphite surface. Its desorption from the water ice surface occurs after 120 K and stops during the water ice sublimation around 150 K. It continues to desorb from the graphite surface at temperatures higher than160 K. Conclusions. More than 95% of solid NH 2 CHO diffuses through the np-ASW ice surface towards the graphitic substrate and is released into the gas phase with a desorption energy distribution E des = 7460-9380 K, which is measured with the best-fit pre-exponential factor A = 10 18 s −1. However, the desorption energy distribution of methylamine from the np-ASW ice surface (E des = 3850-8420 K) is measured with the best-fit pre-exponential factor A = 10 12 s −1. A fraction of solid methylamine monolayer of roughly 0.15 diffuses through the water ice surface towards the HOPG substrate. This small amount of methylamine desorbs later with higher binding energies (5050-8420 K) that exceed that of the crystalline water ice (E des = 4930 K), which is calculated with the same pre-exponential factor A = 10 12 s −1. The best wetting ability of methylamine compared to H 2 O molecules makes CH 3 NH 2 molecules a refractory species for low coverage. Other binding energies of astrophysical relevant molecules are gathered and compared, but we could not link the chemical functional groups (amino, methyl, hydroxyl, and carbonyl) with the binding energy properties. Implications of these high binding energies are discussed.
Complete list of metadata

Cited literature [60 references]  Display  Hide  Download
Contributor : Henda Chaabouni <>
Submitted on : Saturday, November 10, 2018 - 12:29:30 AM
Last modification on : Monday, March 1, 2021 - 8:39:56 AM


Thermal desorption of formamid...
Publisher files allowed on an open archive


Public Domain



Henda Chaabouni, Stephan Diana, T. Nguyen, François Dulieu. Thermal desorption of formamide and methylamine from graphite and amorphous water ice surfaces. Astronomy and Astrophysics - A&A, EDP Sciences, 2018, 612, pp.A47. ⟨10.1051/0004-6361/201731006⟩. ⟨hal-01918175⟩



Record views


Files downloads