Chemistry of neutral species in Titan’s ionosphere: an experimental approach

Abstract : Titan’s gas phase atmospheric chemistry leading to the formation of solid organic aerosols can be simulated in laboratory simulations. Typically, plasma reactors can be used to achieve Titan-like conditions. The discharge induces photodissociation and photoionization processes to the N2-CH4 mixture. It faithfully reproduces the electron energy range of magnetospheric electrons entering Titan’s atmosphere and it can also approximate the solar UV input at Titan’s ionosphere. In this context, it is deemed necessary to apply and exploit such a technique in order to better understand the chemical reactivity occurring in Titan-like conditions. In the present work, we use the Pampre cold dusty plasma experiment with an N2-CH4 gaseous mixture under controlled pressure and gas influx, hence, emphasizing on the gas phase which we know is key to the formation of aerosols on Titan. An internal cryogenic trap has been developed to accumulate the gas products during their production and facilitate their detection. Those are identified and quantified by in situ mass spectrometry and infrared spectroscopy. We present here results from this experiment in an 90-10% N2-CH4 mixing ratio, using a quantitative approach on nitriles and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.
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Submitted on : Saturday, June 18, 2016 - 6:14:32 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, May 15, 2019 - 4:11:35 AM

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  • HAL Id : insu-01333687, version 1

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David Dubois, Nathalie Carrasco, Marie Petrucciani, Sarah Tigrine, Ludovic Vettier. Chemistry of neutral species in Titan’s ionosphere: an experimental approach. Titan Aeronomy and Climate Workshop, Jun 2016, Reims, France. ⟨insu-01333687⟩

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