The Catalytic Role of Coronene for Molecular Hydrogen Formation

Vito Mennella, Liv Hornekær, John Thrower, Mario Accolla

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We present the results of an experimental study on the interaction of atomic deuterium with coronene films. The effects of D atom irradiation have been analyzed with infrared spectroscopy. The spectral changes provide evidence for deuteration of the outer edge coronene C sites via a D addition reaction. A cross section of 1.1Å2 is estimated for the deuteration process of coronene. HD and D2 molecules form, through abstraction reactions, on deuterated coronene sites with a cross section of 0.06Å2. The magnitude of both cross sections is in line with an Eley–Rideal type process. The results showthat hydrogenated neutral polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon molecules act as catalysts for the formation of molecular hydrogen.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Pages (from-to)L2
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jan 2012


  • astrochemistry
  • laboratory


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