Volume 589, May 2016
|Number of page(s)||7|
|Section||Interstellar and circumstellar matter|
|Published online||04 April 2016|
A search for hydrogenated fullerenes in fullerene-containing planetary nebulae
Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias,
C/ Via Láctea s/n,
e-mail: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
2 Departamento de Astrofísica, Universidad de La Laguna (ULL), 38206 La Laguna, Spain
3 Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Madrid, Spain
4 INAF–Osservatorio Astrofisico di Catania, via S. Sofia 78, 95123 Catania, Italy
5 Actinium Chemical Research srl, via Casilina 1626/A, 00133 Rome, Italy
Received: 11 November 2015
Accepted: 19 February 2016
Detections of C60 and C70 fullerenes in planetary nebulae (PNe) of the Magellanic Clouds and of our own Galaxy have raised the idea that other forms of carbon, such as hydrogenated fullerenes (fulleranes like C60H36 and C60H18), buckyonions, and carbon nanotubes, may be widespread in the Universe. Here we present VLT/ISAAC spectra (R ~ 600) in the 2.9−4.1 μm spectral region for the Galactic PNe Tc 1 and M 1−20, which have been used to search for fullerene-based molecules in their fullerene-rich circumstellar environments. We report the non-detection of the most intense infrared bands of several fulleranes around ~3.4−3.6 μm in both PNe. We conclude that if fulleranes are present in the fullerene-containing circumstellar environments of these PNe, then they seem to be much less abundant than C60 and C70. Our non-detections, together with the (tentative) fulleranes detection in the proto-PN IRAS 01005+7910, suggest that fulleranes may be formed in the short transition phase between AGB stars and PNe, but they are quickly destroyed by the UV radiation field from the central star.
Key words: astrochemistry / line: identification / circumstellar matter / molecular processes / stars: AGB and post-AGB / planetary nebulae: general
© ESO, 2016
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