Molecular Isomer Identification of Titan Tholins

Status Report From: e-Print archive
Posted: Monday, May 8, 2017

Barbara Cunha-de-Miranda, Gustavo Garcia, François Gaie-Levrel, Ahmed Mahjoub, Thomas Gautier, Benjamin Fleury, Laurent Nahon, Pascal Pernot, Nathalie Carrasco
(Submitted on 4 May 2017)

The chemical composition of Titan organic haze is poorly known. To address this issue, laboratory analogs named tholins are synthesized, and analyzed by methods requiring often an extraction process in a carrier solvent. These methods exclude the analysis of the insoluble tholins fraction and assume a hypothetical chemical equivalence between soluble and insoluble fractions. In this work, we present a powerful complementary analysis method recently developed on the DESIRS VUV synchrotron beamline at SOLEIL. It involves a soft pyrolysis of tholins at ~230 deg C and an electron ion coincidence analysis of the emitted volatiles compounds photoionized by the tunable synchrotron radiation. By comparison with reference photoelectron spectra (PES), the spectral information collected on the detected molecules yields their isomeric structure. The method is more readily applied to light species, while for heavier ones the number of possibilities and the lack of PES reference spectra in the literature limit its analysis. A notable pattern in the analyzed tholins is the presence of species containing adjacent doubly-bonded N atoms, which might be a signature of heterogeneous incorporation of N2 in tholins.
Subjects:    Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP); Chemical Physics (physics.chem-ph)
Journal reference:    Journal of Physical Chemistry A, American Chemical Society, 2016, 120 (33), pp.6529-6540

Molecular Isomer Identification of Titan Tholins Organic Aerosols by Photoelectron/Photoion Coincidence Spectroscopy Coupled to VUV Synchrotron Radiation

DOI:    10.1021/acs.jpca.6b03346
Cite as:    arXiv:1705.01918 [astro-ph.EP]
     (or arXiv:1705.01918v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)
Submission history
From: Nathalie Carrasco 
[v1] Thu, 4 May 2017 17:20:30 GMT (2346kb)

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