INFRARED SPECTRA AND OPTICAL CONSTANTS of ELUSIVE AMORPHOUS METHANE

Academic Article

Abstract

  • New and accurate laboratory results are reported for amorphous methane (CH4) ice near 10 K for the study of the interstellar medium (ISM) and the outer solar system. Near- and mid-infrared (IR) data, including spectra, band strengths, absorption coefficients, and optical constants, are presented for the first time for this seldom-studied amorphous solid. The apparent IR band strength near 1300 cm-1 (7.69 μm) for amorphous CH4 is found to be about 33% higher than the value long used by IR astronomers to convert spectral observations of interstellar CH4 into CH4 abundances. Although CH4 is most likely to be found in an amorphous phase in the ISM, a comparison of results from various laboratory groups shows that the earlier CH4 band strength at 1300 cm-1 (7.69 μm) was derived from IR spectra of ices that were either partially or entirely crystalline CH4. Applications of the new amorphous-CH4 results are discussed, and all optical constants are made available in electronic form.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Gerakines PA; Hudson RL
  • Volume

  • 805
  • Issue

  • 2