Neutral Buckminsterfullerene in the Diffuse Interstellar Medium

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
June 23, 2017
Filed under
Neutral Buckminsterfullerene in the Diffuse Interstellar Medium

Emission of fullerenes in their infrared vibrational bands has been detected in space near hot stars.

The proposed attribution of the diffuse interstellar bands at 9577 and 9632 \AA\ to electronic transitions of the buckminsterfullerene cation (i.e. C+60 ) was recently supported by new laboratory data, confirming the presence of this species in the diffuse interstellar medium (ISM).

In this letter, we present the detection, also in the diffuse ISM, of the 17.4 and 18.9 μm emission bands commonly attributed to vibrational bands of neutral C60. According to classical models that compute the charge state of large molecules in space, C60 is expected to be mostly neutral in the diffuse ISM. This is in agreement with the abundances of diffuse C60 we derive here from observations.

We also find that C60 is less abundant in the diffuse ISM than in star forming regions, supporting the proposal that C60 can be formed in these regions.

O. Berné, N. L. J. Cox, G. Mulas, C. Joblin
(Submitted on 21 Jun 2017)

Comments: Accepted for publication in A&A
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)
Cite as: arXiv:1706.06803 [astro-ph.GA] (or arXiv:1706.06803v1 [astro-ph.GA] for this version)
Submission history
From: Olivier Berne
[v1] Wed, 21 Jun 2017 09:21:29 GMT (4562kb)

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