Protoplanetary disks host simple and complex molecules in the gas phase and in the condensed state, from which new planets are formed. The formation and survival of these molecules is affected by the temperature and the UV and X-ray radiation field in the disk. To address these questions, laboratory and theoretical efforts are essential to determine where molecular species are destroyed or formed in the protoplanetary disks, and on what timescale. In this project the state-of-art thermo-chemical disk code ProDiMo will be employed to investigate the formation and survival of complex molecules due to surface chemistry. The code is able to solve the dust continuum and line radiative transfer, the balance of heating & cooling rates, as well as the kinetic chemical evolution of the gas and solid phases using reaction rates from the UMIST and other databases. New experimental data, such as photodissociation cross section and dust & ice complex refractive indexes, will be implemented into ProDiMo code to simulate, in a more realistic approximation, the destruction and formation of complex molecules in the vicinity of young stars. These laboratory data have been obtained from previous FAPESP's projects (JP 2009/18304-0, DR 2013/07657-5, PD 2015/10492-3). Specifically, we will model the chemistry in T Tauri discs in this project, including UV and X-ray photo-processes in the ice phase, and compare the results to astronomical observations, as for example TW Hya.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: