Optical Constants of Ices Important to Planetary Science from Laboratory Reflectance Spectroscopy

S. C. Tegler, W. M. Grundy, M. J. Loeffler, P. D. Tribbett, J. Hanley, A. V. Jasko, H. Dawson, A. N. Morgan, K. J. Koga, A. O. Madden-Watson, M. D. Gomez, J. K. Steckloff, G. E. Lindberg, S. P. Tan, S. M. Raposa, A. E. Engle, C. L. Thieberger, D. E. Trilling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Laboratory-derived optical constants are essential for identifying ices and measuring their relative abundances on solar system objects. Almost all optical constants of ices important to planetary science come from experiments with transmission geometries. Here we describe our new experimental setup and the modification of an iterative algorithm in the literature to measure the optical constants of ices from experiments with reflectance geometries. We apply our techniques to CH4 ice and H2O ice samples and find good agreement between our values and those in the literature, except for one CH4 band in the literature that likely suffers from saturation. The work we present here demonstrates that labs with reflectance geometries can generate optical constants essential for the proper analysis of near- and mid-infrared spectra of outer solar system objects such as those obtained with the James Webb Space Telescope.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number31
JournalPlanetary Science Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science


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