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Advances in Astronomy
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 327641, 10 pages
Research Article

Production of Oxidants by Ion Bombardment of Icy Moons in the Outer Solar System

1Centre de Recherche sur les Ions, les Matériaux et la Photonique (CIMAP), CIRIL-GANIL (CEA/CNRS/ENSI CAEN) Université de Caen Basse-Normandie, 14076 Caen, France
2Departamento de Física, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro, 22451-900 Gávea, RJ, Brazil
3Centro de Tecnologías Físicas, Universitat Politècnica de València, 46022 Valencia, Spain
4INAF-Osservatorio Astrofisico di Catania, 95123 Catania, Italy
5IP&D, UNIVAP, 12299-00001 São Jose dos Campos, SP, Brazil
6Grupo de Física e Astronomia, CEFET/Química de Nilópolis, 2653-060 Nilópolis, RJ, Brazil

Received 10 October 2011; Accepted 13 December 2011

Academic Editor: Francois Dulieu

Copyright © 2011 Philippe Boduch et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Our groups in Brazil, France and Italy have been active, among others in the world, in performing experiments on physical-chemical effects induced by fast ions colliding with solids (frozen gases, carbonaceous and organic materials, silicates, etc.) of astrophysical interest. The used ions span a very large range of energies, from a few keV to hundreds MeV. Here we present a summary of the results obtained so far on the formation of oxidants (hydrogen peroxide and ozone) after ion irradiation of frozen water, carbon dioxide and their mixtures. Irradiation of pure water ice produces hydrogen peroxide whatever is the used ion and at different temperatures. Irradiation of carbon dioxide and water frozen mixtures result in the production of molecules among which hydrogen peroxide and ozone. The experimental results are discussed in the light of the relevance they have to support the presence of an energy source for biosphere on Europa and other icy moons in the outer Solar System.