Journal Article

Modelling of c-C<sub>2</sub>H<sub>4</sub>O formation on grain surfaces

A. Occhiogrosso, S. Viti, M. D. Ward and S. D. Price

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 427, issue 3, pages 2450-2456
Published in print December 2012 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online December 2012 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Modelling of c-C2H4O formation on grain surfaces

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Despite its potential reactivity due to ring strain, ethylene oxide (c-C2H4O) is a complex molecule that seems to be stable under the physical conditions of an interstellar dense core; indeed, it has been detected towards several high-mass star-forming regions with a column density of the order of 1013 cm−2. To date, its observational abundances cannot be reproduced by chemical models and this may be due to the significant contribution played by its chemistry on grain surfaces. Recently, Ward & Price have performed experiments in order to investigate the surface formation of ethylene oxide starting with oxygen atoms and ethylene ice as reactants. We present a chemical model which includes the most recent experimental results from Ward & Price on the formation of c-C2H4O. We study the influence of the physical parameters of dense cores on the abundances of c-C2H4O. We verify that ethylene oxide can indeed be formed during the cold phase (when the interstellar medium dense cores are formed), via addition of an oxygen atom across the C=C double bond of the ethylene molecule, and released by thermal desorption during the hot core phase. A qualitative comparison between our theoretical results and those from the observations shows that we are able to reproduce the abundances of ethylene oxide towards high-mass star-forming regions.

Keywords: astrochemistry; stars: formation; ISM: abundances; ISM: molecules

Journal Article.  4970 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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