Hydrogenation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons as a factor affecting the cosmic 6.2 micron emission band

Academic Article


  • While many of the characteristics of the cosmic unidentified infrared (UIR) emission bands observed for interstellar and circumstellar sources within the Milky Way and other galaxies, can be best attributed to vibrational modes of the variants of the molecular family known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), there are open questions that need to be resolved. Among them is the observed strength of the 6.2 micron (1600 cm-1) band relative to other strong bands, and the generally low strength for measurements in the laboratory of the 1600 cm-1 skeletal vibration band of many specific neutral PAH molecules. Also, experiments involving laser excitation of some gas phase neutral PAH species while producing long lifetime state emission in the 3.3 micron (3000 cm-1) spectral region, do not result in significant 6.2 micron (1600 cm-1) emission. A potentially important variant of the neutral PAH species, namely hydrogenated-PAH (HN-PAH) which exhibit intriguing spectral correlation with interstellar and circumstellar infrared emission and the 2175 Å extinction feature, may be a factor affecting the strength of 6.2 micron emission. These species are hybrids of aromatic and cycloalkane structures. Laboratory infrared absorption spectroscopy augmented by density function theory (DFT) computations of selected partially hydrogenated-PAH molecules, demonstrates enhanced 6.2 micron (1600 cm-1) region skeletal vibration mode strength for these molecules relative to the normal PAH form. This along with other factors such as ionization or the incorporation of nitrogen or oxygen atoms could be a reason for the strength of the cosmic 6.2 micron (1600 cm-1) feature. © 2001 Elsevier Science B.V.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Beegle LW; Wdowiak TJ; Harrison JG
  • Start Page

  • 737
  • End Page

  • 744
  • Volume

  • 57
  • Issue

  • 4