The Cassini-Huygens space mission around Saturn has revealed an intense and unexpected photochemistry in the highest atmospheric layer of the satellite Titan. The reactivity from the photolysis of both molecular nitrogen (N2) and methane (CH4) is responsible for the formation of solid organic aerosols whose mass is larger than 1000 uma and have a high exobiological interest. The phenomenon involved is the still significant contribution of the VUV solar photons, with a wavelength below 100 nm, which are the only ones able to photolyse, or even ionize, N2. Unfortunately, the performances of the Cassini instruments do not allow the access to the chemical composition of the high atmosphere, which has become one of the main issues of current exobiology. The goal of this thesis is to go beyond the current limits of laboratory experiments simulating this VUV atmospheric photochemistry by developing ultra-thin and VUV-transparent windows.
PhD student : TIGRINE Sarah
Ecole doctorale de rattachement du doctorant :
ED STV (539)
Strategic axis connecting the subject :
Axis "Science and Innovation".