The c2d Spitzer Spectroscopic Survey Of Ices Around Low-Mass Young Stellar Objects. IV. NH3 And CH3OH
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NH3 and CH3OH are key molecules in astrochemical networks leading to the formation of more complex N- and O-bearing molecules, such as CH3CN and CH3OCH3. Despite a number of recent studies, little is known about their abundances in the solid state. This is particularly the case for low-mass protostars, for which only the launch of the Spitzer Space Telescope has permitted high-sensitivity observations of the ices around these objects. In this work, we investigate the similar to 8-10 mu m region in the Spitzer IRS (InfraRed Spectrograph) spectra of 41 low-mass young stellar objects (YSOs). These data are part of a survey of interstellar ices in a sample of low-mass YSOs studied in earlier papers in this series. We used both an empirical and a local continuum method to correct for the contribution from the 10 mu m silicate absorption in the recorded spectra. In addition, we conducted a systematic laboratory study of NH3- and CH3OH- containing ices to help interpret the astronomical spectra. We clearly detect a feature at similar to 9 mu m in 24 low-mass YSOs. Within the uncertainty in continuum determination, we identify this feature with the NH3 nu(2) umbrella mode and derive abundances with respect to water between similar to 2% and 15%. Simultaneously, we also revisited the case of CH3OH ice by studying the nu(4) C-O stretch mode of this molecule at similar to 9.7 mu m in 16 objects, yielding abundances consistent with those derived by Boogert et al. based on a simultaneous 9.75 and 3.53 mu m data analysis. Our study indicates that NH3 is present primarily in H2O-rich ices, but that in some cases, such ices are insufficient to explain the observed narrow FWHM. The laboratory data point to CH3OH being in an almost pure methanol ice, or mixed mainly with CO or CO2, consistent with its formation through hydrogenation on grains. Finally, we use our derived NH3 abundances in combination with previously published abundances of other solid N-bearing species to find that up to 10%-20% of nitrogen is locked up in known ices.