Perspective: C60+ and laboratory spectroscopy related to diffuse interstellar bands

E. K. Campbell, J. P. Maier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In the last 30 years, our research has focused on laboratory measurements of the electronic spectra of organic radicals and ions. Many of the species investigated were selected based on their potential astrophysical relevance, particularly in connection with the identification of appealing candidate molecules for the diffuse interstellar absorptions. Notably, carbon chains and derivatives containing hydrogen and nitrogen atoms in their neutral and ionic forms were studied. These data could be obtained after developing appropriate techniques to record spectra at low temperatures relevant to the interstellar medium. The measurement of gas phase laboratory spectra has enabled direct comparisons with astronomical data to be made and though many species were found to have electronic transitions in the visible where the majority of diffuse bands are observed, none of the absorptions matched the prominent interstellar features. In 2015, however, the first carrier molecule was identified:
C
+
60
C60+
. This was achieved after the measurement of the electronic spectrum of
C
+
60
–He
C60+–He
at
6
K
6K
in a radiofrequency ion trap.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)160901
JournalThe Journal of Chemical Physics
Volume146
Issue number16
Early online date24 Apr 2017
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 Apr 2017

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