Theoretical investigation of interstellar C–C–O and C–O–C bonding backbone molecules

  • Emmanuel E. Etim
  • Prasanta Gorai
  • Ankan Das
  • Elangannan Arunan
Original Article


There are numerous complex organic molecules containing carbon and oxygen atoms which show either C–C–O or C–O–C bonding backbone. This paper examines altogether 51 C–C–O and C–O–C bonding backbone molecules from ten different isomeric groups (C2H2O, C3H2O, C2H4O, C2H4O2, C3H4O, C2H6O, C2H6O2, C3H6O, C3H6O2, C3H8O) to summarize the present astronomical status of these molecules. Accurate calculations of enthalpy of formation of these molecules show that the isomers with C–C–O backbone are more stable than the C–O–C backbone. Interestingly, a detailed analysis of relevant astromolecules indicates that most of the observed astromolecules have the C–C–O backbone. As a matter of fact, of all the molecules examined in this study, 80% of the astronomically observed species have the C–C–O backbone while only 20% have the C–O–C backbone. In general, interstellar abundance of a molecule is controlled by some factors such as kinetics, formation and destruction pathways,thermodynamics etc. A proper consideration of these factors could explain the observed abundances of these molecules. All these possible key factors are discussed in this paper.


Interstellar: molecules 



EEE acknowledges a research fellowship from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. AD & PG are grateful to ISRO respond project (Grant No. ISRO/RES/2/402/16-17) for the partial financial support.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emmanuel E. Etim
    • 1
    • 2
  • Prasanta Gorai
    • 3
  • Ankan Das
    • 3
  • Elangannan Arunan
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Chemical SciencesFederal University WukariTaraba StateNigeria
  2. 2.Inorganic and Physical Chemistry DepartmentIndian Institute of ScienceBangaloreIndia
  3. 3.Indian Centre for Space PhysicsKolkataIndia

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