We studied the formation of deuterated water on an amorphous silicate surface held at low temperature (10 K < T < 40 K). The surface is first characterized by using Ar+ ion bombardment, and preferential sputtering of oxygen is found. Sputtering creates oxygen vacancies in the surface region that can be filled by deposition of atomic oxygen. The conditions used in the experiment are meant to make it relevant to the study of the initial stages of water formation on dust grains in interstellar space. By changing the D/O ratio of atomic beams of deuterium and oxygen at thermal energy and the temperature of the sample during deposition, we show that the routes to the formation of D2O2 can be untangled and, under certain circumstances, the net yield of D2O2 can be suppressed. The formation efficiency for water and other molecules is then estimated.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry