Broadband spectroscopy of astrophysical ice analogues. I. Direct measurement of the complex refractive index of CO ice using terahertz time-domain spectroscopy
Context. Reliable, directly measured optical properties of astrophysical ice analogues in the infrared and terahertz (THz) range are missing from the literature. These parameters are of great importance to model the dust continuum radiative transfer in dense and cold regions, where thick ice mantles are present, and are necessary for the interpretation of future observations planned in the far-infrared region.
Aims: Coherent THz radiation allows for direct measurement of the complex dielectric function (refractive index) of astrophysically relevant ice species in the THz range.
Methods: We recorded the time-domain waveforms and the frequency-domain spectra of reference samples of CO ice, deposited at a temperature of 28.5 K and annealed to 33 K at different thicknesses. We developed a new algorithm to reconstruct the real and imaginary parts of the refractive index from the time-domain THz data.
Results: The complex refractive index in the wavelength range 1 mm-150 μm (0.3-2.0 THz) was determined for the studied ice samples, and this index was compared with available data found in the literature.
Conclusions: The developed algorithm of reconstructing the real and imaginary parts of the refractive index from the time-domain THz data enables us, for the first time, to determine the optical properties of astrophysical ice analogues without using the Kramers-Kronig relations. The obtained data provide a benchmark to interpret the observational data from current ground-based facilities as well as future space telescope missions, and we used these data to estimate the opacities of the dust grains in presence of CO ice mantles.
Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Pub Date:
- September 2019
- methods: laboratory: solid state;
- ISM: molecules;
- infrared: ISM;
- Astrophysics - Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics