Spectral Analysis of a Methylamine and Ozone Mixture: A Study to Aid in the Detection of Glycine Precursors in the Interstellar Medium Restricted; Files Only

Zinga, Samuel (Spring 2019)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/8c97kr40c?locale=en
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Abstract

The chemistry in the Interstellar Medium (ISM) is thought to be dominated by reactions on the surfaces of ice-grains that lead to the formation of larger complex-organic molecules. One molecule that is thought to be formed in this way is aminomethanol. Aminomethanol is a predicted precursor to interstellar glycine, the simplest amino acid, and as such its detection in the ISM would provide significant support for models of interstellar chemistry and their connection to prebiotic molecules. Detecting aminomethanol in the ISM is predicated on first collecting its rotational spectrum in the laboratory, which has been attempted by previous researchers in the Widicus Weaver lab. This spectrum was dense with unknown transitions, however, and a new experiment was designed to study the reactants, methylamine and ozone, as a potential source of these unassigned lines. The rotational spectrum of a methylamine and ozone mixture was thus collected, and analysis showed that this spectrum also had a number of unassigned lines. A list of potential products was evaluated as a potential source of these transitions, and none of these products were detected in the spectrum. Further analysis of this spectrum and additional spectra of pure methylamine indicated that these transitions are likely due to a vibrationally-excited state of methylamine, highlighting a gap in the current literature.

Table of Contents

1 Introduction ................................................... 1

1.1 Aminomethanol and the ISM ...................... 1

1.2 Methylamine Background ........................... 3

2 Methods ......................................................... 7

2.1 GeneralSetup............................................... 7

2.2 Methylamine and Ozone Setup.................. 10

2.3 Methylamine Setup.................................... 11

3 Methylamine and Ozone Results ................. 12

4 Methylamine Results ................................... 19

5 Discussion and Conclusion .......................... 22

A Appendix A .................................................. 26

B Appendix B .................................................. 28

C Appendix C .................................................. 39

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