Laboratory studies of formation of molecules on dust grain analogues under ISM conditions

G. Vidali, J. E. Roser, G. Manicó, V. Pirronello

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16 Scopus citations


Certain important molecules of the interstellar medium (ISM), such as H2 and CO2, are believed to have been formed on surfaces of dust grains. We describe experimental methods that we used to study the formation of H2 and CO2 on dust grain analogues in conditions approximating the ones found in key interstellar environments. By using state-of-the-art surface science techniques we obtained information on the efficiency of the molecular formation reactions, the reaction kinetics, and the reaction dynamics. Selected results are presented on the formation of molecular hydrogen on surfaces of silicates, amorphous carbon, and amorphous ice and on the synthesis of carbon dioxide. We then briefly show how these results have been applied to the quantitative determination of processes occurring in the ISM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E07S14 1-10
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Planets
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 25 2004


  • Dust
  • Interstellar medium
  • Molecules

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Oceanography


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