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Title: A study of interstellar aldehydes and enols as tracers of a cosmic ray-driven nonequilibrium synthesis of complex organic molecules

Complex organic molecules such as sugars and amides are ubiquitous in star- and planet-forming regions, but their formation mechanisms have remained largely elusive until now. Here we show in a combined experimental, computational, and astrochemical modeling study that interstellar aldehydes and enols like acetaldehyde (CH 3CHO) and vinyl alcohol (C 2H 3OH) act as key tracers of a cosmic-ray-driven nonequilibrium chemistry leading to complex organics even deep within low-temperature interstellar ices at 10 K. Here, our findings challenge conventional wisdom and define a hitherto poorly characterized reaction class forming complex organic molecules inside interstellar ices before their sublimation in star-forming regions such as SgrB2(N). Lastly, these processes are of vital importance in initiating a chain of chemical reactions leading eventually to the molecular precursors of biorelevant molecules as planets form in their interstellar nurseries.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [3] ;  [1]
  1. Univ. of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI (United States)
  2. Univ. of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA (United States)
  3. Univ. of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
FG02-05ER15685
Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 113; Journal Issue: 28; Journal ID: ISSN 0027-8424
Publisher:
National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC (United States)
Research Org:
Univ. of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL, AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; astrochemistry; suprathermal chemistry; photoionization; organics; low-temperature kinetics
OSTI Identifier:
1260424
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1469570