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Issue 8, 2018
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Associative detachment (AD) paths for H and CN in the gas-phase: astrophysical implications

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The direct dynamical paths leading to Associative Detachment (AD) in the gas-phase, and specifically in the low-temperature regions of the Dark Molecular Clouds (DMC) in the ISM, or in cold trap laboratory experiments, are investigated with quantum chemical methods by using a high-level multi-reference Configuration Interaction (CI) approach that employs single and double excitations plus Davidson perturbative correction [MRSDCI(Q)] and the d-aug-cc-pV5Z basis set. The potential energy curves for H + CN are constructed for different directions of the H partner approaching the CN anion within the framework of the Born–Oppenheimer approximation. The present calculations found that the AD energetics at low temperature becomes favorable only along a selected range of approaching directions, thus showing that there is a preferred path of forming HCN at low temperatures, while that of forming its HNC isomer is found to be energetically forbidden. Given the existence in the ISM of different HCN/HNC ratios in different environments, we discuss the implications of our findings for selective formation of either isomer in the low-temperature conditions of the molecular cloud cores.

Graphical abstract: Associative detachment (AD) paths for H and CN− in the gas-phase: astrophysical implications

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Article information

15 Aug 2017
17 Oct 2017
First published
17 Oct 2017

Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2018,20, 5490-5500
Article type

Associative detachment (AD) paths for H and CN in the gas-phase: astrophysical implications

S. V. Jerosimić, F. A. Gianturco and R. Wester, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2018, 20, 5490
DOI: 10.1039/C7CP05573K

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