Volume 647, March 2021
|Number of page(s)||6|
|Section||Letters to the Editor|
|Published online||18 March 2021|
Letter to the Editor
Discovery of the propargyl radical (CH2CCH) in TMC-1: One of the most abundant radicals ever found and a key species for cyclization to benzene in cold dark clouds⋆
Instituto de Física Fundamental, CSIC, Calle Serrano 123, 28006 Madrid, Spain
e-mail: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
2 Observatorio Astronómico Nacional, IGN, Calle Alfonso XII 3, 28014 Madrid, Spain
3 Observatorio de Yebes, IGN, Cerro de la Palera s/n, 19141 Yebes, Guadalajara, Spain
Accepted: 5 March 2021
We present the first identification in interstellar space of the propargyl radical (CH2CCH). This species was observed in the cold dark cloud TMC-1 using the Yebes 40 m telescope. The six strongest hyperfine components of the 20, 2–10, 1 rotational transition, lying at 37.46 GHz, were detected with signal-to-noise ratios from 4.6σ to 12.3σ. We derived a column density of 8.7 × 1013 cm−2 for CH2CCH, which translates to a fractional abundance relative to H2 of 8.7 × 10−9. This radical has a similar abundance as methyl acetylene, with an abundance ratio CH2CCH/CH3CCH close to one. The propargyl radical is thus one of the most abundant radicals detected in TMC-1, and it is probably the most abundant organic radical with a certain chemical complexity ever found in a cold dark cloud. We constructed a gas-phase chemical model and find calculated abundances that agree with, or fall two orders of magnitude below, the observed value depending on the poorly constrained low-temperature reactivity of CH2CCH with neutral atoms. According to the chemical model, the propargyl radical is essentially formed by the C + C2H4 reaction and by the dissociative recombination of C3 ions with n = 4−6. The propargyl radical is believed to control the synthesis of the first aromatic ring in combustion processes, and it probably plays a key role in the synthesis of large organic molecules and cyclization processes to benzene in cold dark clouds.
Key words: astrochemistry / line: identification / molecular processes / ISM: molecules / radio lines: ISM
© ESO 2021
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