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Open Access Publications from the University of California

An Experimental and Theoretical Study on the Ionization Energies of Polyynes (H-(C = C)n-H; n = 1 - 9)


We present a combined experimental and theoretical work on the ionization energies of polyacetylene -- organic molecules considered as important building blocks to form polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the proto planetary nebulae such as of CRL 618. This set of astrophysical data can be utilized with significant confidence in future astrochemical models of photon-dominated regions and also of the proto planetary nebulae CRL 618. We recommend ionization energies of polyacetylenes from diacetylene up to heptaacetylene with an experimental accuracy of +- 0.05 eV: 10.03 eV (diacetylene), 9.45 eV (triacetylene), 9.08 eV (tetraacetylene), 8.75 eV (pentaacetylene), 8.65 eV (hexaacetylene), and 8.50 eV (heptaacetylene); further, ionization energies and with an accuracy of +- 0.1 eV: 8.32 eV (octaacetylene) and 8.24 eV (nonaacetylene) were computed. Implications of these energies to the redox chemistry involved in the multiply charged metal-ion mediated chemistry of hydrocarbon-rich atmospheres of planets and their moons such as Titan are also discussed.

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