Species-to-species rate coefficients for the H3+ + H2 reacting system
1 Max-Planck-Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics (MPE), Giessenbachstr. 1, 85748 Garching, Germany
2 Department of Physics, PO Box 64, 00014 University of Helsinki, Finland
Received: 25 April 2017
Accepted: 10 July 2017
Aims. We study whether or not rotational excitation can make a large difference to chemical models of the abundances of the H3+ isotopologs, including spin states, in physical conditions corresponding to starless cores and protostellar envelopes.
Methods. We developed a new rate coefficient set for the chemistry of the H3+ isotopologs, allowing for rotational excitation, using previously published state-to-state rate coefficients. These new so-called species-to-species rate coefficients are compared with previously-used ground-state-to-species rate coefficients by calculating chemical evolution in variable physical conditions using a pseudo-time-dependent chemical code.
Results. We find that the new species-to-species model produces different results to the ground state-to-species model at high density and toward increasing temperatures (T> 10 K). The most prominent difference is that the species-to-species model predicts a lower H3+ deuteration degree at high density owing to an increase of the rate coefficients of endothermic reactions that tend to decrease deuteration. For example at 20 K, the ground-state-to-species model overestimates the abundance of H2D+ by a factor of about two, while the abundance of D3+ can differ by up to an order of magnitude between the models. The spin-state abundance ratios of the various H3+ isotopologs are also affected, and the new model better reproduces recent observations of the abundances of ortho and para H2D+ and D2H+. The main caveat is that the applicability regime of the new rate coefficients depends on the critical densities of the various rotational transitions which vary with the abundances of the species and the temperature in dense clouds.
Conclusions. The difference in the abundances of the H3+ isotopologs predicted by the species-to-species and ground state-to-species models is negligible at 10 K corresponding to physical conditions in starless cores, but inclusion of the excited states is very important in studies of deuteration at higher temperatures, for example in protostellar envelopes. The species-to-species rate coefficients provide a more realistic approach to the chemistry of the H3+ isotopologs than the ground-state-to-species rate coefficients do, and so the former should be adopted in chemical models describing the chemistry of the H3+ + H2 reacting system.
Key words: astrochemistry / ISM: clouds / ISM: molecules / ISM: abundances
© ESO, 2017