Catalytic activity of interstellar grains: Formation of molecular hydrogen on amorphous silicates

Gianfranco Vidali, Ling Li, Joseph E. Roser, Ryan Badman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Scopus citations


Silicates constitute an important class of interstellar grain material and are the site of catalytic activities, most notably the formation of molecular hydrogen. Here we report an analysis of experiments conducted in the laboratory to measure the efficiency of formation of molecular hydrogen on amorphous silicates, a realistic analogue of interstellar dust grains. From the measurements, we also obtain the energetics of key processes in the reaction and information on the mechanism of reaction. Comparison with earlier measurements of molecular hydrogen formation on a sample of polycrystalline olivine shows that amorphous materials are more efficient catalysts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1291-1298
Number of pages8
JournalAdvances in Space Research
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 15 2009



  • ISM: Dust
  • ISM: Processes
  • Molecular hydrogen
  • Silicates

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science

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