Electronic transitions of jet-cooled SiC2, Si2Cn (n=1-3), Si3Cn (n=1,2), and SiC6H4 between 250 and 710 nm [CL]


Electronic transitions of the title molecules were measured between 250 and 710 nm using a mass-resolved 1+1′ resonant two-photon ionization technique at a resolution of 0.1 nm. Calculations at the B3LYP/aug-cc-pVQZ level of theory support the analyses. Because of their spectral properties, SiC$_2$, linear Si$_2$C$_2$, Si$_3$C, and SiC$_6$H$_4$ are interesting target species for astronomical searches in the visible spectral region. Of special relevance is the Si–C$_2$–Si chain, which features a prominent band at 516.4 nm of a strong transition ($f=0.25$). This band and one from SiC$_6$H$_4$ at 445.3 nm were also investigated at higher resolution (0.002 nm).

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M. Steglich and J. Maier
Wed, 18 Mar 15

Comments: 15 pages, 9 figures, 5 Tables

The electronic spectra of protonated PANH molecules [SSA]


Aims. This study was designed to examine the viability of protonated nitrogen-substituted polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (H+PANHs) as candidates for the carriers of the diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs). Methods. We obtained the electronic spectra of two protonated PANH cations, protonated acridine and phenanthridine, using parent ion photo-fragment spectroscopy and generated theoretical electronic spectra using ab initio calculations. Results. We show that the spectra of the two species studied here do not correspond to known DIBs. However, based on the general properties derived from the spectra of these small protonated nitrogen-substituted PAHs, we propose that larger H+PANH cations represent good candidates for DIB carriers due to the expected positions of their electronic transitions in the UV-visible and their narrow spectral bands.

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J. Noble, C. Dedonder and C. Jouvet
Thu, 12 Mar 15

Comments: 7 pages, 2 figures, accepted for publication in A&A

Rotational spectroscopy as a tool to investigate interactions between vibrational polyads in symmetric top molecules: low-lying states v8 <= 2 of methyl cyanide, CH$_3$CN [GA]


Spectra of methyl cyanide were recorded to analyze interactions in low-lying vibrational states and to construct line lists for radio astronomical observations as well as for infrared spectroscopic investigations of planetary atmospheres. The rotational spectra cover large portions of the 36-1627 GHz region. In the infrared (IR), a spectrum was recorded for this study in the region of 2nu8 around 717 cm-1 with assignments covering 684-765 cm-1. Additional spectra in the nu8 region were used to validate the analysis.
The large amount and the high accuracy of the rotational data extend to much higher J and K quantum numbers and allowed us to investigate for the first time in depth local interactions between these states which occur at high K values. In particular, we have detected several interactions between v8 = 1 and 2. Notably, there is a strong Delta(v8) = +- 1, Delta(K) = 0, Delta(l) = +-3 Fermi resonance between v8 = 1^-1 and v8 = 2^+2 at K = 14. Pronounced effects in the spectrum are also caused by resonant Delta(v8) = +- 1, Delta(K) = -+ 2, Delta(l) = +- 1 interactions between v8 = 1 and 2. An equivalent resonant interaction occurs between K = 14 of the ground vibrational state and K = 12, l = +1 of v8 = 1 for which we present the first detailed account. A preliminary account was given in an earlier study on the ground vibrational state. Similar resonances were found for CH3CCH and, more recently, for CH3NC, warranting comparison of the results. From data pertaining to v8 = 2, we also investigated rotational interactions with v4 = 1 as well as Delta(v8) = +- 1, Delta(K) = 0, Delta(l) = +-3 Fermi interactions between v8 = 2 and 3.
We have derived N2- and self-broadening coefficients for the nu8, 2nu8 – nu8, and 2nu8 bands from previously determined nu4 values. Subsequently, we determined transition moments and intensities for the three IR bands.

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H. Muller, L. Brown, B. Drouin, et. al.
Wed, 25 Feb 15

Comments: 20 pages, 12 figures, astract abbreviated; Journal of Molecular Spectroscopy, accepted

Terahertz spectroscopy of N$^{18}$O and isotopic invariant fit of several nitric oxide isotopologs [GA]


A tunable far-infrared laser sideband spectrometer was used to investigate a nitric oxide sample enriched in 18O between 0.99 and 4.75 THz. Regular, electric dipole transitions were recorded between 0.99 and 2.52 THz, while magnetic dipole transitions between the 2Pi(1/2) and 2Pi(3/2) spin-ladders were recorded between 3.71 and 4.75 THz. These data were combined with lower frequency data of N(18)$O (unlabeled atoms refer to (14)N and (16)O, respectively), with rotational data of NO, (15)NO, N(17)O, and (15)N(18)O, and with heterodyne infrared data of NO to be subjected to one isotopic invariant fit. Rotational, fine and hyperfine structure parameters were determined along with vibrational, rotational, and Born-Oppenheimer breakdown corrections. The resulting spectroscopic parameters permit prediction of rotational spectra suitable for the identification of various nitric oxide isotopologs especially in the interstellar medium by means of rotational spectroscopy.

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H. Muller, K. Kobayashi, K. Takahashi, et. al.
Wed, 17 Dec 14

Comments: 8 pages, 1 figure; part of the Marilyn Jacox special issue of the Journal of Molecular Spectroscopy, in press

Sulfur-bearing species in molecular clouds [SSA]


We study several molecules that could help in the solution of the missing sulfur problem in dense clouds and circumstellar regions, as well as in the clarification of the sulfur chemistry in comets. These sulfur molecules are: the trimer (CH2S)3 and the tetramer (CH2S)4 of thioformaldehyde, pentathian S5CH2, hexathiepan S6CH2, thiirane C2H4S, trisulfane HSSSH, and thioacetone (CH3)2CS. Infrared spectra of these species are calculated using density functional theory methods. The majority of calculated bands belong to the mid-infrared, with some of them occurring in the near and far-infrared region. We suggest that some of unidentified spectral features measured by Infrared Space Observatory in several active galactic nuclei and starburst galaxies could be caused by 1,3,5-trithiane ((CH2S)3), 1,3,5,7-tetrathiocane ((CH2S)4), and thiirane (C2H4S). The objects whose unidentified infrared features we compare with calculated bands are: NGC 253, M82, NGC 1068, Circinus, Arp 220, 30 Doradus, Orion KL, and Sgr B2.

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G. Bilalbegovic and G. Baranovic
Fri, 31 Oct 14

Comments: accepted for publication in MNRAS

Dust in brown dwarfs and extra-solar planets IV. Assessing TiO2 and SiO nucleation for cloud formation modeling [SSA]


Clouds form in atmospheres of brown dwarfs and planets. The cloud particle formation processes are similar to the dust formation process studied in circumstellar shells of AGB stars and in Supernovae. Cloud formation modelling in substellar objects requires gravitational settling and element replenishment in addition to element depletion. All processes depend on the local conditions, and a simultaneous treatment is required. We apply new material data in order to assess our cloud formation model results regarding the treatment of the formation of condensation seeds. We re-address the question of the primary nucleation species in view of new (TiO2)_N-cluster data and new SiO vapour pressure data. We apply the density functional theory using the computational chemistry package Gaussian 09 to derive updated thermodynamical data for (TiO2)_N-clusters as input for our TiO2 seed formation model. We test different nucleation treatments and their effect on the overall cloud structure by solving a system of dust moment equations and element conservation or a pre-scribed Drift-Phoenix atmosphere structure. Updated Gibbs free energies for the (TiO2)_N-clusters are presented, and a slightly temperature dependent surface tension for T=500 … 2000K with an average value of sigma_infty = 480.6 erg 1/cm2. The TiO2-seed formation rate changes only slightly with the updated cluster data. A considerably larger effect on the rate of seed formation, and hence on grain size and dust number density, results from a switch to SiO-nucleation. Despite the higher abundance of SiO over TiO2 in the gas phase, TiO2 remains considerably more efficient in forming condensation seeds by homogeneous nucleation followed by heterogeneous grain growth. The paper discussed the effect on the cloud structure in more detail.

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G. Lee, C. Helling, H. Giles, et. al.
Mon, 27 Oct 14

Comments: accepted for publication in A&A (abstract abridged)

Revised spectroscopic parameters of SH$^+$ from ALMA and IRAM 30 m observations [GA]


Hydrides represent the first steps of interstellar chemistry. Sulfanylium (SH$^+$), in particular, is a key tracer of energetic processes. We used ALMA and the IRAM 30 m telescope to search for the lowest frequency rotational lines of SH$^+$ toward the Orion Bar, the prototypical photo-dissociation region illuminated by a strong UV radiation field. On the basis of previous $Herschel$/HIFI observations of SH$^+$, we expected to detect emission of the two SH$^+$ hyperfine structure (HFS) components of the $N_J = 1_0 – 0_1$ fine structure (FS) component near 346 GHz. While we did not observe any lines at the frequencies predicted from laboratory data, we detected two emission lines, each $\sim$15 MHz above the SH$^+$ predictions and with relative intensities and HFS splitting expected for SH$^+$. The rest frequencies of the two newly detected lines are more compatible with the remainder of the SH$^+$ laboratory data than the single line measured in the laboratory near 346 GHz and previously attributed to SH$^+$. Therefore, we assign these new features to the two SH$^+$ HFS components of the $N_J = 1_0 – 0_1$ FS component and re-determine its spectroscopic parameters, which will be useful for future observations of SH$^+$, in particular if its lowest frequency FS components are studied. Our observations demonstrate the suitability of these lines for SH$^+$ searches at frequencies easily accessible from the ground.

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H. Muller, J. Goicoechea, J. Cernicharo, et. al.
Mon, 8 Sep 14

Comments: 5 pages, 1 figure, Astron. Astrophys., accepted