Sublimation of Laboratory Ices Millimeter/Submillimeter Experiment.
In space, molecules are formed in interstellar clouds, where reactions on icy dusty grains build up complexity. UV irradiation of ice mantles induces photodesorption and photodissociation, occurring at the same time. Photodesorption happens when molecules are ejected into the gas phase, while photodissociation happens when a UV photon breaks the molecular bonds producing free radicals. During photolysis, molecules do not only experience dissociation but also experience recombination. This chemistry can lead from simple molecules to the building blocks of life. We are the first group in the world to perform mm/Submm spectroscopy during ice experiments. This technique is structure-based, allowing the accurate identification of molecules. It is also directly comparable to astronomical telescope observations.