The Efficiency of Noble Gas Trapping in Astrophysical Environments

Fred J. Ciesla1, Sebastiaan Krijt1, Reika Yokochi1, and Scott Sandford2
Astrophysical Journal 867, 146 Link to Article [DOI: 10.3847/1538-4357/aae1a7]
1Department of the Geophysical Sciences, University of Chicago, 5734 South Ellis Avenue, Chicago, IL, USA
2NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA, USA

Amorphous ice has long been invoked as a means for trapping extreme volatiles into solids, explaining the abundances of these species in comets and planetary atmospheres. Experiments have shown that this trapping is possible and has been used to estimate the abundances of each species in primitive ices after they have formed. However, these experiments have been carried out at deposition rates that exceed those expected in a molecular cloud or solar nebula by many orders of magnitude. Here, we develop a numerical model that reproduces the experimental results and apply it to those conditions expected in molecular clouds and protoplanetary disks. We find that two regimes of ice trapping exist: burial trapping, where the ratio of trapped species to water in the ice reflects that same ratio in the gas; and equilibrium trapping, where the ratio in the ice depends only on the partial pressure of the trapped species in the gas. The boundary between these two regimes is set by both the temperature and rate of ice deposition. These effects must be accounted for when determining the source of trapped volatiles during planet formation.

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