EXPERIMENTAL EVIDENCE FOR THE FORMATION OF HIGHLY SUPERHYDROGENATED POLYCYCLIC AROMATIC HYDROCARBONS THROUGH H ATOM ADDITION AND THEIR CATALYTIC ROLE IN H2 FORMATION

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Mass spectrometry measurements show the formation of highly superhydrogenated derivatives of the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon molecule coronene through H atom addition reactions. The observed product mass distribution provides evidence also for abstraction reactions resulting in H2 formation, in agreement with recent IR measurements. Complementary density functional theory calculations confirm the stability of the observed superhydrogenated species toward spontaneous H and H2 loss indicating that abstraction reactions may be the dominant route to H2 formation involving neutral polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). The results indicate that highly superhydrogenated PAHs could well be formed and could act as efficient catalysts for H2 formation in the interstellar medium in low UV flux regions.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume752
Issue3
Pages (from-to)752:3
Number of pages6
ISSN0004-637X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 May 2012

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