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Issue 16, 2010
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Looking for heteroaromatic rings and related isomers as interstellar candidates

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Abstract

Finding complex organic molecules in the interstellar medium (ISM) is a major concern for understanding the possible role of interstellar organic chemistry in the synthesis of prebiotic species. The present interdisciplinary report is a prospective study aimed at helping detection of heteroaromatic compounds or at least of some of their isomers in the ISM. The thermodynamic stabilities of the C4H5N, C4H4O, C4H4S families were calculated using density functional theory (DFT). It was found that pyrrole, furan and thiophene are unambiguously the most stable isomers at the 10–50 K temperatures of the ISM. Several of the less stable isomers were synthesized and flash vacuum thermolysis experiments were performed on these species. Although the detection of pyrrole in the pyrolysis of many compounds has been reported in the literature, we observed that none of its isomers led to pyrrole in these conditions, which suggests that other formation routes are to be considered. On the other hand, these three aromatic compounds present a very high stability, few % been decomposed at 1500 K by flash vacuum thermolysis; these experiments also show a great stability of crotonitrile that is the most stable compound that can be formed in these conditions. The rotational constants, dipole moments and IR frequencies of the low-lying isomers are given to encourage laboratory experiments on these prototype molecules.

Graphical abstract: Looking for heteroaromatic rings and related isomers as interstellar candidates

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Publication details

The article was received on 23 Nov 2009, accepted on 09 Feb 2010 and first published on 16 Mar 2010


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/B924574J
Citation: Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2010,12, 4165-4171
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    Looking for heteroaromatic rings and related isomers as interstellar candidates

    M. Lattelais, Y. Ellinger, A. Matrane and J.-C. Guillemin, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2010, 12, 4165
    DOI: 10.1039/B924574J

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