Volume 464, Number 1, March II 2007AMBER: Instrument description and first astrophysical results
|Page(s)||393 - 398|
|Section||Atomic, molecular, and nuclear data|
|Published online||19 December 2006|
Photodissociation of organic molecules in star-forming regions
Laboratório Nacional de Luz Síncrotron, Caixa Postal 6192, CEP 13084-971, Campinas, SP, Brazil e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
2 Observatório do Valongo, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Ladeira Pedro Antônio 43, CEP 20080-090, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
3 Instituto de Física, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Caixa Postal 68528, CEP 21941-972, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
Accepted: 11 December 2006
The presence of methyl alcohol or methanol (CH3OH) in several astrophysical environments has been characterized by its high abundance that depends on both the production rate and the destruction rate. In the present work, the photoionization and photodissociation processes of methanol have been experimentally studied, employing soft X-ray photons (100–310 eV) from a toroidal grating monochromator (TGM) beamline of the Brazilian Synchrotron Light Laboratory (LNLS). Mass spectra were obtained using the photoelectron photoion coincidence (PEPICO) method. Kinetic energy distribution and abundances for each ionic fragment have been obtained from the analysis of the corresponding peak shapes in the mass spectra. Absolute photoionization and photodissociation cross sections were also determined. We have found, among the channels leading to ionization, about 11–16% of CH3OH survive the soft X-rays photons. This behavior, together with an efficient formation pathways, may be associated with the high column density observed in star-forming regions. The three main photodissociation pathways are represented by COH+ (or HCO+) ion release (with ejection of H2 + H), the dissociation via C–O bond rupture (with strong charge retention preferentially on the methyl fragment) and the ejection of a single energetic (2–4 eV) proton. Since methanol is very abundant in star forming regions, the produced protons could be an alternative route to molecular hydrogenation or a trigger for secondary dissociation processes or even to promote extra heating of the environment.
Key words: astrochemistry / methods: laboratory / ISM: molecules / X-rays: ISM / molecular data / molecular processes
© ESO, 2007
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