Volume 525, January 2011
|Number of page(s)||6|
|Section||Atomic, molecular, and nuclear data|
|Published online||29 November 2010|
Experimental investigation of nitrile formation from VUV photochemistry of interstellar ices analogs: acetonitrile and amino acetonitrile
Université de Provence, Laboratoire de Physique des Interactions Ioniques
et Moléculaires Centre de St-Jérôme,
Avenue Escadrille Normandie-Niemen,
2 Univ. Paris-Sud, Astrochimie et Origines, Institut dAstrophysique Spatiale, UMR 8617, Orsay, 91405, France
3 CNRS, Orsay, 91405, France
Accepted: 4 October 2010
Context. The study of the chemical reactivity in interstellar ices in astrophysical environments is an important tool for understanding the origin of the organic matter in molecular clouds, in protoplanetary disks, and possibly, as a final destination, in our solar system. The laboratory simulations of the reactivity in ice analogs provide important information for understanding the reactivity in these environments. Here, we used these experimental simulations to trace some formation pathways of two nitriles, acetonitrile and amino acetonitrile, which are two potential precursors of amino acids in astrophysical environments.
Aims. The purpose of this work is to present the first experimental approach for the formation of acetonitrile and amino acetonitrile in interstellar-like conditions.
Methods. We use Fourier Transform InfraRed (FTIR) spectroscopy and mass spectrometry to study the formation at 20 K of acetonitrile CH3CN from VUV irradiation of ethylamine and of amino acetonitrile NH2CH2CN from VUV irradiation of ammonia: acetonitrile mixture. Isotopic substitutions are used to confirm identifications.
Results. We demonstrate that acetonitrile can be formed at 20 K from the VUV irradiation of ethylamine with a yield of 4%. Furthermore, in presence of ammonia, at 20 K and under VUV irradiation, the acetonitrile can lead to the amino acetonitrile formation. These results suggest that acetonitrile and amino acetonitrile can be formed in astrophysical environments that are submitted to VUV irradiations.
Key words: astrochemistry / ISM: molecules / methods: laboratory
© ESO, 2010
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