Kinetics of OCN− formation from the HNCO + NH3 solid-state thermal reaction
Aix-Marseille Univ, PIIM UMR 7345, CNRS, 13397 Marseille, France
Received: 22 April 2011
Accepted: 27 January 2012
Context. Solid-state features in infrared astronomical spectra can provide useful information on interstellar ices within different astrophysical environments. Solid OCN− has an absorption feature at 4.62 μm, which is observed in star formation regions only with a large source-to-source abundance variation.
Aims. We aim to investigate the thermal formation mechanism of solid OCN− from HNCO on the basis of kinetic arguments.
Methods. We experimentally studied the kinetics of the low-temperature OCN− formation from the purely thermal reaction between HNCO and NH3 in interstellar ice analogs using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. We used a rate equation approach, a kinetic Monte Carlo approach and a gamma probability distribution approach to derive kinetic parameters from experimental data.
Results. The kinetics can de divided into two-processes, a fast process corresponding to the chemical reaction, and a slow process that we interpret as the spatial orientation of the two reactants within the ice. The three approaches give the same results. The HNCO + NH3 → OCN− + NH4+ reaction rate follows an Arrhenius law with an activation energy of 0.4 ± 0.1 kJ mol-1 (48 ± 12 K) and a pre-exponential factor of 0.0035 ± 0.0015 s-1.
Conclusions. The present experiment has the important implication that the HNCO + NH3 reaction can account for the observed abundances of solid OCN− and the HNCO non detection in young stellar objects.
Key words: astrochemistry / ISM: molecules / molecular processes
© ESO, 2012