THE CHEMISTRY OF PAH AND FULLERENE MOLECULES IN INTERSTELLAR CLOUDS

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Abstract

Recent laboratory data on the ion-neutral chemistry of PAH and fullerene ions and molecules have been incorporated into chemical kinetic models of interstellar clouds. The laboratory data show that the-second ionization potentials of many complex molecules are less than the first ionization potential of helium. Thus collisions between He+, generated by cosmic ray ionization, and PAH and fullerene neutrals produce doubly charged cations. I find that these cations, and also protonated neutrals, are abundant in dark clouds. If the recombination of electrons with doubly charged cations, which releases typically 14 eV of energy, is dissociative in nature, then PAH and fullerene species are destroyed m both diffuse and dense clouds on astronomically significant time-scales.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)P35-P39
Number of pages5
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume259
Publication statusPublished - 1992

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