The ethanol tree: possible gas-phase formation routes of glycolaldehyde, acetic acid and formic acid in ISM

Mar 22, 2018, 5:00 PM
Physikzentrum Bad Honnef

Physikzentrum Bad Honnef

Physikzentrum Bad Honnef Hauptstr. 5 53604 Bad Honnef Tel.: (0 22 24) 90 10 114 Fax: (0 22 24) 90 10 130
Contributed Talk The assembly of prebiotic molecules The assembly of prebiotic molecules


Fanny Vazart (Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa)


The question of the formation of Complex Organic Molecules (COMs) in ISM is a main issue in the field of prebiotic chemistry. More particularly, glycolaldehyde is an important species in this context, especially because it is the simplest sugar-related compound. Indeed, it is thought to be able to be converted into short dipeptides[1] or amino acids[2] and to ease the formation of more complex sugars.[3]

Moreover, its key roles in ISM appear to be also remarkable since it has been detected in Sgr B2,[4] in high- and low- mass star forming regions[5] and more recently in shocked regions.[6]

In this contribution it is demonstrated, using a computational strategy integrating state-of-the-art electronic structure calculations and kinetic calculations, that the reaction between two widely diffuse species, that are hydroxyethyl radicals and atomic oxygen, can easily account for the formation of, not only glycolaldehyde, but also acetic and formic acids, species that can also be of interest in both prebiotic chemistry and interstellar medium.

[1] Pizzarello, S., Weber, A. L., 2004 Science 303: 1151

[2] Weber, A. L., Pizzarello, S. 2006 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 103: 12713–12717

[3] Cantillo, D., Ávalos, M., Babiano, R., Cintas, P., Jiménez, J. L., Palacios, J. C. 2012 Chem. Eur. J. 18: 8795–8799.

[4] Hollis, J. M., Lovas, F. J., Jewell, P. R. 2000, ApJ, 540, L107

[5] Beltran, M. T., Codella, C., Viti, S., Neri, R., & Cesaroni, R. 2009, ApJ, 690, L93

[6] Lefloch B., Ceccarelli C., Codella C. et al. 2017, MNRAS, 469, L73

Primary author

Dr Dimitrios Skouteris (Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa)


Dr Bertrand Lefloch (Université Grenoble Alpes, IPAG) Cecilia Ceccarelli (Universitè Grenoble Alpes - IPAG) Dr Claudio Codella (Istituto di Radioastronomia Sezione Firenze) Cristina Puzzarini Fanny Vazart (Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa) Nadia Balucani (Università degli Studi di Perugia) Prof. Vincenzo Barone

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