The Photolysis of Aromatic Hydrocarbons Adsorbed on the Surfaces of Cosmic Dust Grains
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The results of laboratory mass-spectrometer studies of the laser-induced dissociation of molecules of simple aromatic hydrocarbons adsorbed on a quartz substrate under the conditions of deep vacuum and low temperatures are adapted to the physical and chemical conditions in regions of active star formation in molecular clouds. The main properties of the photolysis of physically adsorbed molecules compared to the photodissociation of isolated molecules in the gas phase are identified. The relevance of molecular photolytic desorption to the real conditions in the interstellar medium is analyzed, in particular, to the conditions in photodissociation regions. It is shown that the photodissociation of adsorbed benzene occurs along other channels and with appreciably lower efficiency than does the corresponding process in the gas phase. The photodissociation of aromatic hydrocarbons adsorbed on the surfaces of interstellar grains cannot make a large contribution to the abundance of hydrocarbons with small numbers of atoms observed in the interstellar medium.
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- 26.G. B. Esplugues, S. Cazaux, R. Meijerink, M. Spaans, and P. Caselli, Astron. Astrophys. 52, 591 (2016).Google Scholar