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The Most Obscured AGNs in the XMM-SERVS Fields

Yan, Wei; Brandt, W. N.; Zou, Fan; Zhu, Shifu; Chen, Chien-Ting J.; Hickox, Ryan C.; Luo, Bin; Ni, Qingling; Alexander, David M.; Bauer, Franz E.; Vignali, Cristian; Vito, Fabio

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Wei Yan

W. N. Brandt

Fan Zou

Shifu Zhu

Chien-Ting J. Chen

Ryan C. Hickox

Bin Luo

Qingling Ni

Franz E. Bauer

Cristian Vignali

Fabio Vito


We perform X-ray spectral analyses to derive the characteristics (e.g., column density, X-ray luminosity) of ≈10,200 active galactic nuclei (AGNs) in the XMM-Spitzer Extragalactic Representative Volume Survey, which was designed to investigate the growth of supermassive black holes across a wide dynamic range of cosmic environments. Using physical torus models (e.g., Borus02) and a Bayesian approach, we uncover 22 representative Compton-thick (CT; NH > 1.5 × 1024 cm−2) AGN candidates with good signal-to-noise ratios as well as a large sample of 136 heavily obscured AGNs. We also find an increasing CT fraction (fCT) from low (z < 0.75) to high (z > 0.75) redshift. Our CT candidates tend to show hard X-ray spectral shapes and dust extinction in their spectral energy distribution fits, which may shed light on the connection between AGN obscuration and host-galaxy evolution.


Yan, W., Brandt, W. N., Zou, F., Zhu, S., Chen, C. J., Hickox, R. C., …Vito, F. (2023). The Most Obscured AGNs in the XMM-SERVS Fields. Astrophysical Journal, 951(1), Article 27.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 4, 2023
Online Publication Date Jun 29, 2023
Publication Date Jul 1, 2023
Deposit Date Oct 31, 2023
Publicly Available Date Oct 31, 2023
Journal The Astrophysical Journal
Print ISSN 0004-637X
Electronic ISSN 1538-4357
Publisher American Astronomical Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 951
Issue 1
Article Number 27
Keywords Space and Planetary Science; Astronomy and Astrophysics
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Copyright Statement
© 2023. The Author(s). Published by the American Astronomical Society.
Original content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence. Any further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the title of the work, journal citation and DOI.

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