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Author Fedoseev, G. ♦ Chuang, K. -J. ♦ Qasim, D. ♦ Linnartz, H. ♦ Ioppolo, S. ♦ Dishoeck, E. F. van
Source United States Department of Energy Office of Scientific and Technical Information
Content type Text
Language English
Subject Keyword ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY ♦ ATOMS ♦ CARBON ♦ CARBON MONOXIDE ♦ COSMIC RADIATION ♦ DUSTS ♦ ETHYLENE ♦ ETHYLENE GLYCOLS ♦ GLYCEROL ♦ HYDROGENATION ♦ ICE ♦ INTERACTIONS ♦ INTERSTELLAR SPACE ♦ MOLECULES ♦ PHOTONS ♦ PLANETS ♦ RADICALS ♦ RADIOLYSIS ♦ SACCHAROSE ♦ STARS ♦ SURFACES
Abstract Observational studies reveal that complex organic molecules (COMs) can be found in various objects associated with different star formation stages. The identification of COMs in prestellar cores, i.e., cold environments in which thermally induced chemistry can be excluded and radiolysis is limited by cosmic rays and cosmic-ray-induced UV photons, is particularly important as this stage sets up the initial chemical composition from which ultimately stars and planets evolve. Recent laboratory results demonstrate that molecules as complex as glycolaldehyde and ethylene glycol are efficiently formed on icy dust grains via nonenergetic atom addition reactions between accreting H atoms and CO molecules, a process that dominates surface chemistry during the “CO freeze-out stage” in dense cores. In the present study we demonstrate that a similar mechanism results in the formation of the biologically relevant molecule glycerol—HOCH{sub 2}CH(OH)CH{sub 2}OH—a three-carbon-bearing sugar alcohol necessary for the formation of membranes of modern living cells and organelles. Our experimental results are fully consistent with a suggested reaction scheme in which glycerol is formed along a chain of radical–radical and radical–molecule interactions between various reactive intermediates produced upon hydrogenation of CO ice or its hydrogenation products. The tentative identification of the chemically related simple sugar glyceraldehyde—HOCH{sub 2}CH(OH)CHO—is discussed as well. These new laboratory findings indicate that the proposed reaction mechanism holds much potential to form even more complex sugar alcohols and simple sugars.
ISSN 0004637X
Educational Use Research
Learning Resource Type Article
Publisher Date 2017-06-10
Publisher Place United States
Journal Astrophysical Journal
Volume Number 842
Issue Number 1


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