Cyanomethanimine isomers in cold interstellar clouds: insights from electronic structure and kinetic calculations.
VAZART F., LATOUCHE C., SKOUTERIS D., BALUCANI N. and BARONE V.
Abstract (from CDS):
New insights into the formation of interstellar cyanomethanimine, a species of great relevance in prebiotic chemistry, are provided by electronic structure and kinetic calculations for the reaction CN + CH2= NH. This reaction is a facile formation route of Z,E-C-cyanomethanimine, even under the extreme conditions of density and temperature typical of cold interstellar clouds. E-C-cyanomethanimine has been recently identified in Sgr B2(N) in the Green Bank Telescope (GBT) PRIMOS survey by P. Zaleski et al. and no efficient formation routes have been envisaged so far. The rate coefficient expression for the reaction channel leading to the observed isomer E-C-cyanomethanimine is 3.15x10-10x(T/300)0.152xe(–0.0948/T). According to the present study, the more stable Z-C-cyanomethanimine isomer is formed with a slightly larger yield (4.59x10–10x(T/300)0.153xe(–0.0871/T). As the detection of E-isomer is favored due to its larger dipole moment, the missing detection of the Z-isomer can be due to the sensitivity limit of the GBT PRIMOS survey and the detection of the Z-isomer should be attempted with more sensitive instrumentation. The CN + CH2= NH reaction can also play a role in the chemistry of the upper atmosphere of Titan where the cyanomethanimine products can contribute to the buildup of the observed nitrogen-rich organic aerosols that cover the moon.