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Title: An organic cosmo-barometer: Distinct pressure and temperature effects for methyl substituted polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

There are a number of key structures that can be used to reveal the formation and modification history of organic matter in the cosmos. For instance, the susceptibility of organic matter to heat is well documented and the relative thermal stabilities of different isomers can be used as cosmothermometers. Yet despite being an important variable, no previously recognized organic marker of pressure exists. The absence of a pressure marker is unfortunate considering our ability to effectively recognize extraterrestrial organic structures both remotely and in the laboratory. There are a wide variety of pressures in cosmic settings that could potentially be reflected by organic structures. Therefore, to develop an organic cosmic pressure marker, we have used state-of-the-art diamond anvil cell (DAC) and synchrotron-source Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy to reveal the effects of pressure on the substitution patterns for representatives of the commonly encountered methyl substituted naphthalenes, specifically the dimethylnaphthalenes. Interestingly, although temperature and pressure effects are concordant for many isomers, pressure appears to have the opposite effect to heat on the final molecular architecture of the 1,5-dimethylnaphthalene isomer. Our data suggest the possibility of the first pressure parameter or 'cosmo-barometer' (1,5-dimethylnaphthalene/total dimethylnaphthalenes) that can distinguish pressure from thermal effects. Informationmore » can be obtained from the new pressure marker either remotely by instrumentation on landers or rovers or directly by laboratory measurement, and its use has relevance for all cases where organic matter, temperature, and pressure interplay in the cosmos.« less
Authors:
; ;  [1]
  1. Impacts and Astromaterials Research Centre, Department of Earth Science and Engineering, Imperial College London SW7 2AZ (United Kingdom)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22357294
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 784; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
75 CONDENSED MATTER PHYSICS, SUPERCONDUCTIVITY AND SUPERFLUIDITY; 79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; BAROMETERS; COSMOLOGY; DIAMONDS; FOURIER TRANSFORM SPECTROMETERS; HEAT; INFRARED SPECTRA; ISOMERS; MODIFICATIONS; NAPHTHALENE; ORGANIC MATTER; POLYCYCLIC AROMATIC HYDROCARBONS; PRESSURE DEPENDENCE; PRESSURE MEASUREMENT; SPECTROSCOPY; STABILITY; SYNCHROTRON RADIATION SOURCES; TEMPERATURE DEPENDENCE; TEMPERATURE MEASUREMENT; UNIVERSE