The dissociative recombination of H3+ - a saga coming to an end?

M. Larsson, B. J. McCall, A. E. Orel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Major progress has been made in the understanding of how H3+ recombines with thermal and sub-thermal electrons, a process of great importance to the chemistry of diffuse interstellar clouds. Two independent ion storage ring experiments with rovibrationally cold H3+ ions are in excellent agreement, and quantum mechanical calculations agree with the storage ring results quantitatively for the thermal rate constant, if not in all details concerning the cross section. The recombination mechanism is understood. A direct consequence of this progress is that the cosmic-ray ionization rate in diffuse clouds must be shifted upwards to a value larger than 10-16 s-1.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)145-151
Number of pages7
JournalChemical Physics Letters
Issue number4-6
StatePublished - Sep 10 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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