EAS Publications Series
Volume 46, 2011PAHs and the Universe: A Symposium to Celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the PAH Hypothesis
|Page(s)||453 - 460|
|Published online||30 March 2011|
C. Joblin and A.G.G.M. Tielens (eds)
EAS Publications Series, 46 (2011) 453-460
Superhydrogenated PAHs: Catalytic formation of H2
Department of Physics and Astronomy, Aarhus
2 Department of Theoretical Physics, Faculty of Natural Sciences, University of Paderborn, 33098 Paderborn, Germany
The possible role of neutral PAHs as catalysts for H2 formation in the interstellar medium is investigated by a combined experimental and density function theory study of the superhydrogenation of coronene (C24H12). The calculations suggest efficient hydrogenation of both edge and centre sites, along with competing abstraction reactions to form H2 in a series of catalytic cycles. Scanning tunneling microscopy and thermal desorption measurements have been used to provide direct evidence of the formation of superhydrogenated coronene as a result of exposure to D atoms. Lower limit estimates for the cross-sections of 1.8 × 10-17, 5.5 × 10-18 and 1.1 × 10-18 cm2 for the formation of singly, doubly and triply hydrogenated coronene are derived. The results suggest that superhydrogenated PAHs may play an important role in H2 formation in the ISM.
© EAS, EDP Sciences 2011
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