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Benzonitrile as a Proxy for Benzene in the Cold ISM: Low-temperature Rate Coefficients for CN + C 6 H 6

Abstract : The low-temperature reaction between CN and benzene (C6H6) is of significant interest in the astrochemical community due to the recent detection of benzonitrile, the first aromatic molecule identified in the interstellar medium (ISM) using radio astronomy. Benzonitrile is suggested to be a low-temperature proxy for benzene, one of the simplest aromatic molecules, which may be a precursor to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. In order to assess the robustness of benzonitrile as a proxy for benzene, low-temperature kinetics measurements are required to confirm whether the reaction remains rapid at the low gas temperatures found in cold dense clouds. Here, we study the C6H6 + CN reaction in the temperature range 15–295 K, using the well-established CRESU technique (a French acronym standing for Reaction Kinetics in Uniform Supersonic Flow) combined with pulsed-laser photolysis-laser-induced fluorescence. We obtain rate coefficients, k(T), in the range (3.6–5.4) × 10−10 cm3 s−1 with no obvious temperature dependence between 15 and 295 K, confirming that the CN + C6H6 reaction remains rapid at temperatures relevant to the cold ISM.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, March 18, 2020 - 11:46:03 AM
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Ilsa R. Cooke, Divita Gupta, Joseph Messinger, Ian R Sims. Benzonitrile as a Proxy for Benzene in the Cold ISM: Low-temperature Rate Coefficients for CN + C 6 H 6. The Astrophysical journal letters, Bristol : IOP Publishing, 2020, 891 (2), pp.L41. ⟨10.3847/2041-8213/ab7a9c⟩. ⟨hal-02510885⟩

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