Observational and Experimental Astrochemistry: A High Resolution Gas Phase Study of Metal Containing Species in the Laboratory and Circumstellar Envelopes of Stars

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/222611
Title:
Observational and Experimental Astrochemistry: A High Resolution Gas Phase Study of Metal Containing Species in the Laboratory and Circumstellar Envelopes of Stars
Author:
Pulliam, Robin L.
Issue Date:
2011
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
It was once thought that molecules in the interstellar medium (ISM) would be destroyed in the harsh surroundings and conditions of space, and therefore unobservable by radio techniques. However, it is now understood that the chemistry of the ISM is vast and complex. The question still remains as to just how complex is this chemistry. Much is clearly still not understood. This dissertation presents work on the study of metal compounds and cations in the circumstellar envelopes of oxygen- and carbon-rich asymptotic giant branch (AGB) and supergiant stars. Laboratory studies were also conducted on several transition metal compounds of interstellar interest, some with high spin and orbital angular momentum states. Work has been completed to confirm the detection of the debated metal cyanide KCN in the carbon-rich AGB star IRC+10216. KCN joins the list as the fifth interstellar metal cyanide/isocyanide detected in this source. In addition, preliminary results on the search for TiO are presented towards the oxygen-rich supergiant star, VY CMa. To further understand the evolutionary processes of carbon- and oxygen-rich stars, a survey of HCO⁺ was taken towards the carbon star IRC+10216, the oxygen-rich AGBs TX Cam, IK Tau, and W Hya and the oxygen-rich supergiant NML Cyg. While HCO⁺ was detected towards all of these sources, the results vary. The outflow of NML Cyg proves to be asymmetric and further study is necessary. The emission from W Hya is significantly narrower than the other sources. The abundances of HCO⁺ in circumstellar gas increases inversely with mass-loss rate and ion-molecule chemistry appears to influence the chemistry of evolved circumstellar envelopes. To understand species in space with more confidence, a laboratory search for several 3d transition metal species of astrochemical interest was conducted in the laboratory: HZnCl (X¹∑⁺), ZnO (X¹∑⁺ and a³Πᵢ), ZnCl (X²∑⁺), TiS (X³Δᵣ) and CrS (X⁵Πᵣ). All of the molecules have been observed for the first time with high resolution gas phase rotational spectroscopy and the work on ZnO was the first gas-phase study of this molecule. Synthesis of the species required exotic production methods, including use of a DC discharge to produce all zinc species. By studying the rotational spectra, rest frequencies were determined that will be beneficial for future astronomical searches.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
interstellar chemistry; metal chemistry; rotational spectroscopy; Chemistry; Astrochemistry; circumstellar envelopes
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Graduate College; Chemistry
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Ziurys, Lucy M.

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.titleObservational and Experimental Astrochemistry: A High Resolution Gas Phase Study of Metal Containing Species in the Laboratory and Circumstellar Envelopes of Starsen_US
dc.creatorPulliam, Robin L.en_US
dc.contributor.authorPulliam, Robin L.en_US
dc.date.issued2011-
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractIt was once thought that molecules in the interstellar medium (ISM) would be destroyed in the harsh surroundings and conditions of space, and therefore unobservable by radio techniques. However, it is now understood that the chemistry of the ISM is vast and complex. The question still remains as to just how complex is this chemistry. Much is clearly still not understood. This dissertation presents work on the study of metal compounds and cations in the circumstellar envelopes of oxygen- and carbon-rich asymptotic giant branch (AGB) and supergiant stars. Laboratory studies were also conducted on several transition metal compounds of interstellar interest, some with high spin and orbital angular momentum states. Work has been completed to confirm the detection of the debated metal cyanide KCN in the carbon-rich AGB star IRC+10216. KCN joins the list as the fifth interstellar metal cyanide/isocyanide detected in this source. In addition, preliminary results on the search for TiO are presented towards the oxygen-rich supergiant star, VY CMa. To further understand the evolutionary processes of carbon- and oxygen-rich stars, a survey of HCO⁺ was taken towards the carbon star IRC+10216, the oxygen-rich AGBs TX Cam, IK Tau, and W Hya and the oxygen-rich supergiant NML Cyg. While HCO⁺ was detected towards all of these sources, the results vary. The outflow of NML Cyg proves to be asymmetric and further study is necessary. The emission from W Hya is significantly narrower than the other sources. The abundances of HCO⁺ in circumstellar gas increases inversely with mass-loss rate and ion-molecule chemistry appears to influence the chemistry of evolved circumstellar envelopes. To understand species in space with more confidence, a laboratory search for several 3d transition metal species of astrochemical interest was conducted in the laboratory: HZnCl (X¹∑⁺), ZnO (X¹∑⁺ and a³Πᵢ), ZnCl (X²∑⁺), TiS (X³Δᵣ) and CrS (X⁵Πᵣ). All of the molecules have been observed for the first time with high resolution gas phase rotational spectroscopy and the work on ZnO was the first gas-phase study of this molecule. Synthesis of the species required exotic production methods, including use of a DC discharge to produce all zinc species. By studying the rotational spectra, rest frequencies were determined that will be beneficial for future astronomical searches.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectinterstellar chemistryen_US
dc.subjectmetal chemistryen_US
dc.subjectrotational spectroscopyen_US
dc.subjectChemistryen_US
dc.subjectAstrochemistryen_US
dc.subjectcircumstellar envelopesen_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineChemistryen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorZiurys, Lucy M.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberMonti, Oliveren_US
dc.contributor.committeememberKukolich, Stephenen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberWoolf, Nevilleen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberBeiging, Johnen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberZiurys, Lucy M.en_US
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