The c2d Spitzer spectroscopic survey of ices around low-mass young stellar objects. II. CO2

K.M. Pontoppidan, A.C.A. Boogert, H.J. Fraser, E.F. van Dishoeck, G.A. Blake, F. Lahuis, K.I. Oberg, N.J. Evans

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188 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents Spitzer IRS λ/Δ λ ~ 600 spectroscopy of the CO2 15.2 μm bending mode toward 50 embedded young low-mass stars, taken mostly from the "Cores to Disks" (c2d) Legacy program. The average abundance of solid CO2 relative to water in low-mass protostellar envelopes is 0.32 ± 0.02, significantly higher than that found in quiescent molecular clouds and in massive star-forming regions. A decomposition of the observed CO2 bending mode profiles requires a minimum of five unique components. Roughly of the CO2 ice is found in a water-rich environment, while most of the remaining is found in a CO environment with strongly varying relative concentrations of CO2 to CO along each line of sight. Ground-based observations of solid CO toward a large subset of the c2d sample are used to further constrain the CO2:CO component and suggest a model in which low-density clouds form the CO2:H2O component and higher density clouds form the CO2:CO ice during and after the freezeout of gas-phase CO. The abundance of the CO2:CO component is consistent with cosmic-ray processing of the CO-rich part of the ice mantles, although a more quiescent formation mechanism is not ruled out. It is suggested that the subsequent evolution of the CO2 and CO profiles toward low-mass protostars, in particular the splitting of the CO2 bending mode due to pure, crystalline CO2, is first caused by distillation of the CO2:CO component through evaporation of CO due to thermal processing to ~20-30 K. The formation of pure CO2 via segregation from the H2O rich mantle may contribute to the band splitting at higher levels of thermal processing (50 K) but is harder to reconcile with the physical structure of protostellar envelopes around low-luminosity objects.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1005-1031
Number of pages27
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 10 May 2008


  • astrochemistry
  • circumstellar matter
  • dust
  • extinction
  • ISM
  • evolution
  • time-dependent chemistry
  • dense molecular clouds
  • grain surface-reactions
  • solid carbon-dioxide
  • infrared-spectroscopy
  • interstellar-medium
  • thermal-desorption
  • high-resolution
  • band strengths
  • dark cloud


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