Fevering Interstellar Ices Have More CH3OD

Beatrice M Kulterer, Maria N. Drozdovskaya, Stefano Antonellini, Catherine Walsh, Tom J. Millar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Monodeuterated methanol is thought to form during the prestellar core stage of star formation. Observed variations in the CH2DOH/CH3OD ratio suggest that its formation is strongly dependent on the surrounding cloud conditions. Thus, it is a potential tracer of the physical conditions before the onset of star formation. A single-point physical model representative of a typical prestellar core is coupled to chemical models to investigate potential formation pathways toward deuterated methanol at the prestellar stage. Simple addition reactions of H and D are not able to reproduce observed abundances. The implementation of an experimentally verified abstraction scheme leads to the efficient formation of methyl-deuterated methanol, but lacks sufficient formation of hydroxy-deuterated methanol. CH3OD is most likely formed at a later evolutionary stage, potentially from H–D exchange reactions in warm ices between HDO (and D2O) and CH3OH. The CH2DOH/CH3OD ratio is not an appropriate tracer of the physical conditions during the prestellar stage, but might be better suited as a tracer of ice heating.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1171-1188
Number of pages18
JournalACS Earth and Space Chemistry
Issue number5
Early online date13 Apr 2022
Publication statusPublished - 19 May 2022


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