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Issue 47, 2015
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On the formation of pyridine in the interstellar medium

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Nitrogen-substituted polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (NPAHs) have been proposed to play a key role in the astrochemical evolution of the interstellar medium, but the formation mechanism of even their simplest building block – the aromatic pyridine molecule – has remained elusive for decades. Here we reveal a potential pathway to a facile pyridine (C5H5N) synthesis via the reaction of the cyano vinyl (C2H2CN) radical with vinyl cyanide (C2H3CN) in high temperature environments simulating conditions in carbon-rich circumstellar envelopes of Asymptotic Giant Branch (AGB) stars like IRC+10216. Since this reaction is barrier-less, pyridine can also be synthesized via this bimolecular reaction in cold molecular clouds such as in TMC-1. The synchronized aromatization of precursors readily available in the interstellar medium leading to nitrogen incorporation into the aromatic rings would open up a novel route to pyridine derivatives such as vitamin B3 and pyrimidine bases as detected in carbonaceous chondrites like Murchison.

Graphical abstract: On the formation of pyridine in the interstellar medium

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Publication details

The article was received on 22 May 2015, accepted on 30 Oct 2015 and first published on 09 Nov 2015

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C5CP02960K
Citation: Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2015,17, 32000-32008

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    On the formation of pyridine in the interstellar medium

    D. S. N. Parker, R. I. Kaiser, O. Kostko, T. P. Troy, M. Ahmed, B. Sun, S. Chen and A. H. H. Chang, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2015, 17, 32000
    DOI: 10.1039/C5CP02960K

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