Presentation #225.03 in the session Laboratory Astrophysics Division (LAD): Hard Metal Astrophysics II.
The work presented in this dissertation involved the development of a laboratory technique to reveal new information about cosmic ice chemistry. The Sublimation of Laboratory Ices Millimeter/submillimeter Experiment (SubLIME) combines millimeter and submillimeter (mm/submm) spectroscopy, infrared spectroscopy, and mass spectrometry to explore the connection between ice and gas chemistry in cold regions of space by studying the intricate details of sublimation. The studies examined ice chemistry driven by UV photons, how chemical abundance ratios change upon sublimation, and how UV photons and heat affect the sublimation process. Procedures were developed for determining surface binding energy, sublimation enthalpy, rotational temperature, and gas density. This spectroscopic technique can unambiguously identify the molecular abundance ratios of sublimated gas mixtures including structural isomers, conformers, isotopologues, and spin isomers and is highly complementary to gas-phase mass spectrometry techniques widely used for laboratory cosmic ice studies. Furthermore, the laboratory spectra can be directly compared to observational data from submillimeter/far-IR telescopes and can provide an avenue for laboratory modeling of telescope data to guide future molecular discoveries.