Formation of methyl ketenimine (CH3CH = C = NH) and ethylcyanide (CH3CH2C≡N) isomers through successive hydrogenations of acrylonitrile (CH2 = CH − C≡N) under interstellar conditions: The role of CH3CH − C≡N radical in the activation of the cyano group chemistry

Lahouari Krim, Jean Claude Guillemin, David E. Woon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Possible formation routes of interstellar amino acids have been proposed where the first step consists in the transformation of organic nitriles (RCH2 − C≡N) into ketenimines (RCH = C = NH). Such a transformation shows high-energy barriers and needs energetic processing to occur. We show in this study that the CN bond could be activated through H-addition reactions to form ketenimines when starting from organic α, β-unsaturated nitriles (C≡N). Consequently, both methyl ketenimine CH3CH = C = NH and ethylcyanide CH3CH2C≡N might have their origin from H2C = CH − C≡N + 2H reaction occurring on the interstellar icy grains. During the hydrogenation of H2C = CH − C≡N ice under interstellar conditions, CH3CH2C≡N has been formed with an abundance 10 times higher than that of CH3CH = C = NH. Our measurements lead us to conclude that such a distribution would be directly linked to the π-electrons delocalization H3C − CH − C≡N ↔ H3C − CH = C = N occurring during the reduction of the CC double bond of acrylonitrile.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5210-5220
Number of pages11
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume485
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 13 2019

Keywords

  • Astrochemistry
  • ISM: molecules
  • Methods: laboratory: solid state
  • Techniques: spectroscopic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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