Molecular hydrogen formation on interstellar PAHs through Eley-Rideal abstraction reactions

Nolan Foley, Stéphanie Cazaux, Dmitrii Egorov, L.M.P.V. Boschman, Romke Hoekstra, Thomas Schlathölter

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Abstract

We present experimental data on H2 formation processes on gas-phase polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) cations. This process was studied by exposing coronene radical cations, confined in a radio-frequency ion trap, to gas phase H atoms. Sequential attachment of up to 23 hydrogen atoms has been observed. Exposure to atomic D instead of H allows one to distinguish attachment from competing abstraction reactions, as the latter now leave a unique fingerprint in the measured mass spectra. Modeling of the experimental results using realistic cross sections and barriers for attachment and abstraction yield a 1:2 ratio of abstraction to attachment cross sections. The strong contribution of abstraction indicates that H2 formation on interstellar PAH cations is an order of magnitude more relevant than previously thought.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)649-656
Number of pages8
JournalMonthly Notice of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume479
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep-2018

Keywords

  • astrochemistry
  • molecular processes
  • ISM
  • molecules
  • POLYCYCLIC AROMATIC-HYDROCARBONS
  • ASTROPHYSICAL IMPLICATIONS
  • GRAPHITE SURFACE
  • CATIONS
  • ATOMS
  • SPECTRA
  • SIZE

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