Document Detail

Low temperature formation of naphthalene and its role in the synthesis of PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) in the interstellar medium.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22198769     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are regarded as key molecules in the astrochemical evolution of the interstellar medium, but the formation mechanism of even their simplest prototype-naphthalene (C(10)H(8))-has remained an open question. Here, we show in a combined crossed beam and theoretical study that naphthalene can be formed in the gas phase via a barrierless and exoergic reaction between the phenyl radical (C(6)H(5)) and vinylacetylene (CH(2) = CH-C ≡ CH) involving a van-der-Waals complex and submerged barrier in the entrance channel. Our finding challenges conventional wisdom that PAH-formation only occurs at high temperatures such as in combustion systems and implies that low temperature chemistry can initiate the synthesis of the very first PAH in the interstellar medium. In cold molecular clouds, barrierless phenyl-type radical reactions could propagate the vinylacetylene-mediated formation of PAHs leading to more complex structures like phenanthrene and anthracene at temperatures down to 10 K.
Dorian S N Parker; Fangtong Zhang; Y Seol Kim; Ralf I Kaiser; Alexander Landera; Vadim V Kislov; Alexander M Mebel; A G G M Tielens
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.     Date:  2011-12-22
Journal Detail:
Title:  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America     Volume:  109     ISSN:  1091-6490     ISO Abbreviation:  Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.     Publication Date:  2012 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-01-05     Completed Date:  2012-03-06     Revised Date:  2013-06-26    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7505876     Medline TA:  Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  53-8     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Chemistry, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Cold Temperature*
Cosmic Dust*
Free Radicals
Mass Spectrometry
Molecular Weight
Naphthalenes / chemical synthesis*,  chemistry
Polycyclic Hydrocarbons, Aromatic / chemical synthesis*,  chemistry
Surface Properties
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Cosmic Dust; 0/Free Radicals; 0/Naphthalenes; 0/Polycyclic Hydrocarbons, Aromatic; 2166IN72UN/naphthalene

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