19-22 October 2011
Hotel Roanoke, Roanoke VA
US/Eastern timezone
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Dissociative Electron-Ion Recombination of the Protonated Interstellar Species Glycolaldehyde, Acetic Acid, and Methyl Formate

21 Oct 2011, 18:00
2h
Roanoke Foyer (Hotel Roanoke, Roanoke VA)

Roanoke Foyer

Hotel Roanoke, Roanoke VA

Speaker

Patrick Lawson (University of Georgia)

Description

Recently, the prebiotic molecule and primitive sugar glycolaldehyde and its structural isomers acetic acid and the abundant methyl formate have been detected in the interstellar medium(ISM). Understanding the processes involving these molecules is vital to understand the ISM, where stars are formed. The rate constants, alpha_e, for dissociative electron-ion recombination of protonated gycolaldehyde, (H O C H_2 C H O)H^+, and protonated methyl formate, (H C O O C H_3)H^+, have been determined at 300K in a variable temperature flowing afterglow using a Langmuir probe to determine the electron density. The alpha_e at 300K are 3.2 x 10^{-7} cm^{3} s^{-1} for protonated methyl formate and 7.5 x 10^{-7} cm^{3} s^{-1} for protonated glycolaldehyde. The alpha_e of protonated acetic acid could not be directly measured due to difficulty in producing the ion, but it appears to have a recombination rate constant, alpha_e, on the ~ 10^{-7} cm^{3} s^{-1} scale. Additional temperature dependence information was obtained. The astrochemical implications of the alpha_e measurements and protonation routes are also discussed.

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