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Polyaromatic disordered carbon grains as carriers of the UV bump: Far-UV to mid-IR spectroscopy of laboratory analogs

Abstract : Context. A multiwavelength study of laboratory carbons with varying degrees of hydrogenation and sp2 hybridization is required to characterize the structure of the carbonaceous carriers of interstellar and circumstellar extinction.Aims. We study the spectral properties of carbonaceous dust analogs from the far-ultraviolet to the mid-infrared and correlate features in both spectral ranges to the aromatic/aliphatic degree.Methods. Analogs to carbonaceous interstellar dust encountered in various phases of the interstellar medium have been prepared in the laboratory. These are amorphous hydrogenated carbons (a-C:H), analogs to the diffuse interstellar medium component, and soot particles, analogs to the polyaromatic component. Thin films (d < 100 nm) have been measured in transmission in the vacuum-ultraviolet (VUV; 120–210 nm) within the atmospheric pressure experiment (APEX) chamber of the DISCO beam line at the SOLEIL synchrotron radiation facility. Spectra of these films were further measured through the UV-Vis (210 nm–1 μm) and in the mid-infrared (3–15 μm).Results. Tauc optical gaps, Eg, are derived from the visible spectra. The major spectral features are fitted through the VUV to the mid-infrared to obtain positions, full-widths at half maximum (FWHM), and integrated intensities. These are plotted against the position of the π-π∗ electronic transitions peak. Unidentified or overlapping features in the UV are identified by correlations with complementary infrared data. A correlation between the optical gap and position of the π-π∗ electronic transitions peak is found. The latter is also correlated to the position of the sp3 carbon defect band at ~8 μm, the aromatic C=C stretching mode position at ~6 μm, and the H/C ratio.Conclusions. Ultraviolet and infrared spectroscopy of structurally diverse carbon samples are used to constrain the nanostructural properties of carbon carriers of both circumstellar and interstellar extinction, such as the associated coherent lengths and the size of polyaromatic units. Our study suggests that carriers of the interstellar UV bump should exhibit infrared bands akin to the A/B classes of the aromatic infrared bands, while the circumstellar bump carriers should exhibit bands corresponding to the B/C classes.
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Lisseth Gavilan, Kim Cuong Le, Thomas Pino, Ivan Alata, Alexandre Giuliani, et al.. Polyaromatic disordered carbon grains as carriers of the UV bump: Far-UV to mid-IR spectroscopy of laboratory analogs. Astronomy and Astrophysics - A&A, EDP Sciences, 2017, 607, pp.A73. ⟨10.1051/0004-6361/201730712⟩. ⟨insu-01626063⟩



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