Formation of HNCO from carbon monoxide and atomic nitrogen in their fundamental states. Investigation of the reaction pathway in conditions relevant to the interstellar medium†
As a simple molecule containing the four main atoms essential for life as we know it, isocyanic acid can be considered as a prebiotic molecule. As such, the understanding of reaction mechanisms leading to its formation is fundamental. Isocyanic acid is present in different physical environments in the medium. Previous studies have suggested that, in water-containing ices, on the surface of dust grains, HNCO may be formed from N and CO in their fundamental states. To further investigate the reaction process, herein we investigate this reaction by means of the matrix-isolation technique.