Do cement nanoparticles exist in space ? [SSA]

The calcium-silicate-hydrate is used to model properties of cement on Earth. We study cementitious nanoparticles and propose these structures as components of cosmic dust grains. Quantum density functional theory methods are applied for the calculation of infrared spectra of Ca4Si4O14H4, Ca6Si3O13H2, and Ca12Si6O26H4 clusters. We find bands distributed over the near, mid and far-infrared region. A specific calcium-silicate-hydrate spectral feature at 14 microns, together with the bands at 10 and 18 microns which exist for other silicates as well, could be used for a detection of cosmic cement. We compare calculated bands with the 14 microns features in the spectra of HD 45677, HD 44179, and IRC+10420 which were observed by Infrared Space Observatory and classified as remaining. High abundance of oxygen atoms in cementitious nanoparticles could partially explain observed depletion of this element from the interstellar medium into dust grains.

Read this paper on arXiv…

G. Bilalbegovic, A. Maksimovic and V. Mohacek-Grosev
Wed, 30 Apr 14

Comments: accepted for publication in MNRAS