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Synthesis and degradation of prebiotic molecular species at planetary atmospheres, comets and interstellar ice analogs

Abstract

With the help of modern radiostronomy more than 150 molecular species, including hydrocarbons, nitriles, acids, alcohols and others, have been detected in the interestelar medium, comets and planetary/lunar atmospheres. Additionally, meteorites analysis have been revealed the presence of several prebiotic compounds (e.g., amino acids, DNA/RNA nitrogen bases, sugars, etc.). These investigations have suggested that Earth´s life could have an extraterrestrial origin. Therefore, the understanding about formation/destruction processes of these prebiotic species at astrophysical environments becomes essential. In this project we will perform experimental investigation of the formation of prebiotic molecules by UV photochemical processing of condensed simple gas mixtures (H2O, CO, CH4, NH3, etc.) simulating the processing of astrophysical ices (e.g., comets, interstellar grains, etc.). Inside a ultra-high vacuum chamber, the gases will be adsorbed into a cryogenic surface (10K) and then processed by very intense UV light from a hydrogen lamp. The sample will be analyzed in-situ by 2 different of spectrometers (FTIR and Q-MS) and by a gas-chromatograph (GC-MS). Besides the identification and quantification of new molecular compounds, their formation and dissociation cross-sections, reaction rates and life times will be determined. This scientific proposal will start the experimental astrochemistry research field in our institute. (AU)

Articles published in Pesquisa FAPESP Magazine about the research grant:
Molecule Smasher  
Un triturador de moléculas 
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VEICULO: TITULO (DATA)

Scientific publications (19)
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
CARVALHO, GEANDERSON A.; PILLING, SERGIO. Chemical changes induced during heating of acetonitrile-rich ice pre-irradiated by X-rays and its implication in astrochemistry. SPECTROCHIMICA ACTA PART A-MOLECULAR AND BIOMOLECULAR SPECTROSCOPY, v. 267, n. 1 FEB 15 2022. Web of Science Citations: 0.
CARVALHO, G. A.; PILLING, S. Time-scales to reach chemical equilibrium in ices at snowline distance around compact objects: the influence of accretion mass in the central object. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, v. 503, n. 2, p. 2973-2978, MAY 2021. Web of Science Citations: 0.
VASCONCELOS, F. A.; PILLING, S.; AGNIHOTRI, A.; ROTHARD, H.; BODUCH, P. Methylenimine and cyanomethanimine synthesis from ion irradiation of N-2-CH4 ice: Implication on the formation of prebiotic molecules in outer solar system bodies. ICARUS, v. 351, NOV 15 2020. Web of Science Citations: 0.
CARVALHO, G. A.; PILLING, S. Photolysis of CH3CN Ices by Soft X-rays: Implications for the Chemistry of Astrophysical Ices at the Surroundings of X-ray Sources. Journal of Physical Chemistry A, v. 124, n. 41, p. 8574-8584, OCT 15 2020. Web of Science Citations: 1.
CARVALHO, G. A.; PILLING, S. X-ray photolysis of CH3COCH3 ice: implications for the radiation effects of compact objects towards astrophysical ices. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, v. 498, n. 1, p. 689-701, OCT 2020. Web of Science Citations: 1.
PILLING, S.; BONFIM, V. S. The influence of molecular vicinity (expressed in terms of dielectric constant) on the infrared spectra of embedded species in ices and solid matrices. RSC ADVANCES, v. 10, n. 9, p. 5328-5338, FEB 2 2020. Web of Science Citations: 0.
FABRICIO M. FREITAS; SÉRGIO PILLING. LABORATORY INVESTIGATION OF X-RAY PHOTOLYSIS OF METHANOL ICE AND ITS IMPLICATION ON ASTROPHYSICAL ENVIRONMENTS. Química Nova, v. 43, n. 5, p. 521-527, Maio 2020. Web of Science Citations: 0.
PILLING, S.; ROCHA, W. R. M.; FREITAS, F. M.; DA SILVA, P. A. Photochemistry and desorption induced by X-rays in water rich astrophysical ice analogs: implications for the moon Enceladus and other frozen space environments. RSC ADVANCES, v. 9, n. 49, p. 28823-28840, SEP 12 2019. Web of Science Citations: 0.
RACHID, MARINA G.; FAQUINE, KARLA; PILLING, S. Destruction of C2H4O2 isomers in ice-phase by X-rays: Implication on the abundance of acetic acid and methyl formate in the interstellar medium. Planetary and Space Science, v. 149, n. SI, p. 83-93, DEC 1 2017. Web of Science Citations: 4.
VASCONCELOS, FREDSON DE A.; PILLING, SERGIO; ROCHA, WILL R. M.; ROTHARD, HERMANN; BODUCH, PHILIPPE. Energetic Processing of N-2:CH4 Ices Employing X-Rays and Swift Ions: Implications for Icy Bodies in the Outer Solar System. ASTROPHYSICAL JOURNAL, v. 850, n. 2 DEC 1 2017. Web of Science Citations: 3.
BONFIM, VICTOR DE SOUZA; DE CASTILHO, ROBERTO BARBOSA; BAPTISTA, LEONARDO; PILLING, SERGIO. SO3 formation from the X-ray photolysis of SO2 astrophysical ice analogues: FTIR spectroscopy and thermodynamic investigations. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, v. 19, n. 39, p. 26906-26917, OCT 21 2017. Web of Science Citations: 3.
VASCONCELOS, F. A.; PILLING, S.; ROCHA, W. R. M.; ROTHARD, H.; BODUCH, P. Radiolysis of N-2-rich astrophysical ice by swift oxygen ions: implication for space weathering of outer solar system bodies. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, v. 19, n. 35, p. 24154-24165, SEP 21 2017. Web of Science Citations: 4.
VASCONCELOS, F. A.; PILLING, S.; ROCHA, W. R. M.; ROTHARD, H.; BODUCH, P.; DING, J. J. Ion irradiation of pure and amorphous CH4 ice relevant for astrophysical environments. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, v. 19, n. 20, p. 12845-12856, MAY 28 2017. Web of Science Citations: 13.
ROCHA, W. R. M.; PILLING, S.; DE BARROS, A. L. F.; ANDRADE, D. P. P.; ROTHARD, H.; BODUCH, P. Infrared complex refractive index of astrophysical ices exposed to cosmic rays simulated in the laboratory. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, v. 464, n. 1, p. 754-767, JAN 2017. Web of Science Citations: 3.
BOSSA, JEAN-BAPTISTE; MATE, BELEN; FRANSEN, COEN; CAZAUX, STEPHANIE; PILLING, SERGIO; MONTEIRO ROCHA, WILL ROBSON; ORTIGOSO, JUAN; LINNARTZ, HAROLD. POROSITY AND BAND-STRENGTH MEASUREMENTS OF MULTI-PHASE COMPOSITE ICES. ASTROPHYSICAL JOURNAL, v. 814, n. 1 NOV 20 2015. Web of Science Citations: 10.
PILLING, S.; BERGANTINI, A. THE EFFECT OF BROADBAND SOFT X-RAYS IN SO2-CONTAINING ICES: IMPLICATIONS ON. THE PHOTOCHEMISTRY OF ICES TOWARD YOUNG STELLAR OBJECTS. ASTROPHYSICAL JOURNAL, v. 811, n. 2 OCT 1 2015. Web of Science Citations: 6.
ROCHA, W. R. M.; PILLING, S. COMPUTATIONAL MODELING OF THE CLASS I LOW-MASS PROTOSTAR ELIAS 29 APPLYING OPTICAL CONSTANTS OF ICES PROCESSED BY HIGH ENERGY COSMIC RAY ANALOGS. ASTROPHYSICAL JOURNAL, v. 803, n. 1 APR 10 2015. Web of Science Citations: 6.
BERGANTINI, A.; PILLING, S.; NAIR, B. G.; MASON, N. J.; FRASER, H. J. Processing of analogues of plume fallout in cold regions of Enceladus by energetic electrons. Astronomy & Astrophysics, v. 570, OCT 2014. Web of Science Citations: 9.
ROCHA, W. R. M.; PILLING, S. Determination of optical constants n and k of thin films from absorbance data using Kramers-Kronig relationship. SPECTROCHIMICA ACTA PART A-MOLECULAR AND BIOMOLECULAR SPECTROSCOPY, v. 123, p. 436-446, APR 5 2014. Web of Science Citations: 13.

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