20-EPN2-045: Irradiation Effects of Energetic H+ and S+ Ion Implantation in Salts and Minerals Relevant to the Surface of Europa
Virtual visit by Duncan Mifsud, University of Kent (UK) to TA2.11 Atomki Ice Chamber for Astrophysics / Astrochemistry (ICA) (Hungary).
Dates of visit: 21-29 November 2022 and 18-20 January 2023
Report Summary: The surface of Europa is host to a rich radiation environment, in which ions from the giant Jovian magnetosphere drive physico-chemical transformations of surface ices and minerals. Although a number of previous studies have looked into the irradiation of surface ice analogues in order to better constrain the chemistry occurring on Europa, considerably fewer studies have investigated the radiation chemistry of plausible mineral analogues.
Therefore, in this study, we have irradiated four mineral species (halite, fayalite, epsomite, and berthierine) using 1 MeV H+ and 1 MeV S+ ions to better understand the dissociation pathways of these minerals and the associated radiolysis products. Our preliminary results have shown that irradiation brings about significant changes in the appearances of the minerals that signify alterations in the structures and chemical compositions. Further infrared, visible, and ultraviolet spectroscopic analyses of retained mineral samples (both irradiated and pristine) are planned for the near future.