Complex organic molecules formation in space through gas phase reactions: a theoretical approach.
REDONDO P., BARRIENTOS C. and LARGO A.
Abstract (from CDS):
Chemistry in the interstellar medium (ISM) is capable of producing complex organic molecules (COMs) of great importance to astrobiology. Gas phase and grain surface chemistry almost certainly both contribute to COM formation. Amino acids as building blocks of proteins are some of the most interesting COMs. The simplest one, glycine, has been characterized in meteorites and comets and, its conclusive detection in the ISM seems to be highly plausible. In this work, we analyze the gas phase reaction of glycine and CH5+ to establish the role of this process in the formation of alanine or other COMs in the ISM. Formation of protonated α- and β-alanine in spite of being exothermic processes is not viable under interstellar conditions because the different paths leading to these isomers present net activation energies. Nevertheless, glycine can evolve to protonated 1-imide-2, 2-propanediol, protonated amino acetone, protonated hydroxyacetone, and protonated propionic acid. However, formation of acetic acid and protonated methylamine is also a favorable process and therefore will be a competitive channel with the evolution of glycine to COMs.