Gas Phase Ion Chemistry: From the Laboratory to the Interstellar Medium
Molecular Physics seminar
Monday 07 June 2010
Prof. Veronica Bierbaum (University of Colorado)
Despite the harsh conditions of the interstellar medium, a rich variety of chemical species has been detected in molecular clouds; neutral compounds and positive ions have been known for many years, and more recently, the detection of negative ions has been an exciting discovery. Our laboratory studies are directed at understanding the formation and interaction of these species. Experimental techniques using flowing afterglow and selected ion flow tube instruments provide a versatile approach for exploring the ion chemistry of a wide array of ions with neutral reactants that are abundant in the interstellar medium, including hydrogen, nitrogen, and oxygen atoms. Results will be discussed for the reactivity and mechanisms of carbanions, hydride ion, and both simple and complex organic cations. Instrumental developments and future directions will be described.