Unified microscopic-macroscopic Monte Carlo simulations of complex organic molecule chemistry in cold cores.
CHANG Q. and HERBST E.
Abstract (from CDS):
The recent discovery of methyl formate and dimethyl ether in the gas phase of cold cores with temperatures as cold as 10 K challenges our previous astrochemical models concerning the formation of complex organic molecules (COMs). The strong correlation between the abundances and distributions of methyl formate and dimethyl ether further shows that current astrochemical models may be missing important chemical processes in cold astronomical sources. We investigate a scenario in which COMs and the methoxy radical can be formed on dust grains via a so-called chain reaction mechanism, in a similar manner to CO2. A unified gas-grain microscopic-macroscopic Monte Carlo approach with both normal and interstitial sites for icy grain mantles is used to perform the chemical simulations. Reactive desorption with varying degrees of efficiency is included to enhance the nonthermal desorption of species formed on cold dust grains. In addition, varying degrees of efficiency for the surface formation of methoxy are also included. The observed abundances of a variety of organic molecules in cold cores can be reproduced in our models. The strong correlation between the abundances of methyl formate and dimethyl ether in cold cores can also be explained. Nondiffusive chemical reactions on dust grain surfaces may play a key role in the formation of some COMs.