Tracing Complex Molecules

  • Our Team

  • Dr. Frank Lewen (PI, PH1)
  • Dr. Arnaud Belloche (PI, MPIfR)
  • Mélisse Bonfand (MPIfR)
  • Kirill Borisov (PH1)
  • Dr. Nadine Wehres (PH1)
  • Dr. Elena Zakharenko (PH1)
  • Oliver Zingsheim (PH1)
  • Former member
  • Matthias Ordu (PH1)

A short overview

This project is a concerted laboratory and astrophysics observational effort, using new observing facilities. Many molecules have their fingerprint-like spectra in the sub millimeter wavelength region, which have been covered by Herschel or ALMA for the first time with unprecedented sensitivity. Herschel and even more so ALMA can help to unfold the molecular complexity in the interstellar medium. Results from this project answer questions such as how and which complex molecules can be formed, and where they exist in space. In many cases molecules trace the evolutionary history of a star forming region and act as a chemical clock.

The laboratory astrophysics group uses several advanced absorption experiments in the millimeter and submillimeter wavelength ranges. Such wide range of accessible frequencies is mandatory to generate complete line predictions for complex molecules up to 2 THz. One research highlight so far has been the first interstellar detection of 13C-substituted dimethylether that was made possible by precise predictions of rest frequencies and intensities. Furthermore, this molecule has for the first time been detected in the interstellar medium in vibrationally excited states.

As the chemical evolution and the creation of more and more complex molecules is connected with all the different aspects of star forming regions, project B3 is right at the center topic of the SFB. It strongly collaborates with project B2 and future project B4 in terms of expensive equipment, THz electronics and optics. The recorded spectra are presented in form of line lists and molecular constants in the Cologne Database for Molecular Spectroscopy (CDMS). The development of these tools is done in collaboration and with astrophysical input of project section A6. The CDMS and the software tools will be used for modelling in C3.

Selected Publications


 

In 2018

N. Wehres, M. Hermanns, O. Wilkins, K. Borisov, F. Lewen, J.-U. Grabow, S. Schlemmer, and H. Müller, Rotational spectroscopy of the two conformers of 3-methylbutyronitrile (C4H9CN) between 2 and 400 GHz, Astron. Astrophys. (2018), in press.

N. Wehres, J. Maßen, K. Borisov, B. Schmidt, F. Lewen, U. U. Graf, C. E. Honingh, D. R. Higgins, and S. Schlemmer, A Laboratory Heterodyne Emission Spectrometer at Submillimeter Wavelengths, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 20, 5530–5544 (2018)

N. Wehres, B. Heyne, F. Lewen, M. Hermanns, B. Schmidt, C. Endres, U. U. Graf, D. R. Higgins, and S. Schlemmer, “100 GHz Room-Temperature Laboratory Emission Spectrometer”, Proceedings of the IAU Symposium No. 332 “Astrochemistry VIII: Through the Cosmos from Galaxies to Planets ”, preprint.

C. Richard, A. Belloche, L. Margulès, R. A. Motiyenko, K. M. Menten, R. T. Garrod, and H. S. P. Müller, Rotational Spectrum of 3-Aminopropionitrile and Searches for It in Sagittarius B2(N), J. Mol. Spectrosc., 2018, 345, 51–59.

In 2017

L. Bizzocchi, F. Tamassia, J. Laas, B. M. Giuliano, C. Degli Esposti, L. Dore, M. Melosso, E. Canè, A. Pietropolli Charmet, H. S. P. Müller, H. Spahn, A. Belloche, Paola Caselli, K. M. Menten, and R. T. Garrod, Rotational and High-resolution Infrared Spectrum of HC3N: Global Ro-vibrational Analysis and Improved Line Catalog or Astrophysical Observations, Astrophys. J. Suppl. Ser., 2017, 233, Art No. 11.

O. Zingsheim, H. S. P. Müller, F. Lewen, J. K. Jørgensen, and S. Schlemmer, Millimeter and Submillimeter Wave Spectroscopy of Propanal, J. Mol. Spectrosc., 2017, 342, 125–131.

H. S. P. Müller, O. Zingsheim, N. Wehres, J.-U. Grabow, F. Lewen, and S. Schlemmer, Rotational Spectroscopy of the Lowest Energy Conformer of 2-Cyanobutane, J. Phys. Chem. A, 2017, 121, 7121–7129.

M. Bonfand, A. Belloche, K. M. Menten, R. T. Garrod, and H. S. P. Müller, Molecular Complexity with ALMA (EMoCA): Detection of Three New Hot Cores in Sagittarius B2(N), Astron. Astrophys., 2017, 604, Art. No. A60.

R. T. Garrod, A. Belloche, H. S. P. Müller, and K. M. Menten, Exploring Molecular Complexity with ALMA (EMoCA): Simulations of Branched Carbon-chain Chemistry in Sgr B2(N), Astron. Astrophys., 2017, 601, Art. No. A49.

A. Belloche, A. A. Meshcheryakov, R. T. Garrod, V. V. Ilyushin, E. A. Alekseev, R. A. Motiyenko, L. Margulès, H. S. P. Müller, and K. M. Menten, Rotational Spectroscopy, Tentative Interstellar Detection, and Chemical Modelling of N-Methylformamide, Astron. Astrophys., 2017, 601, Art. No. A2.

O. Zakharenko, J.-B. Bossa, F. Lewen, S. Schlemmer, H. S. P. Müller, Millimeter and submillimeter wave spectroscopy of higher energy conformers of 1,2-propanediol, J. Mol. Spectrosc., 2017, 333, 23–26.

H. Schmiedt, S. Schlemmer, S. N. Yurchenko, A. Yachmenev, and P. Jensen, A semi-classical approach to the calculation of highly excited rotational energies for asymmetric-top molecules, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2017, 19, 1847–1856.

In 2016

H. S. P. Müller, A. Walters, N. Wehres, A. Belloche, O. H. Wilkins, D. Liu, R. Vicente, R. T. Garrod, K. M. Menten, F. Lewen, S. Schlemmer, Laboratory spectroscopic study and astronomical detection of vibrationally excited n-propyl cyanide, Astron. Astrophys., 2016, 595, A87.

L. Margulès, A. Belloche, H. S. P. Müller, R. A. Motiyenko, J.-C. Guillemin, R. T. Garrod, K. M. Menten, Spectroscopic study and astronomical detection of doubly 13C-substituted ethyl cyanide. Astron. Astrophys., 2016, 590, Art. No. A93.

H. S. P. Müller, A. Belloche, L.-H. Xu, R. M. Lees, R. T. Garrod, A. Walters, J. van Wijngaarden, F. Lewen, S. Schlemmer, K. M. Menten, Exploring molecular complexity with ALMA (EMoCA): Alkanethiols and alkanols in Sagittarius B2(N2), Astron. Astrophys., 2016, 587, Art. No. A92.

A. Belloche, H. S. P. Müller, R. T. Garrod, K. M. Menten, Exploring molecular complexity with ALMA (EMoCA): Deuterated complex organic molecules in Sagittarius B2(N2), Astron. Astrophys., 2016, 587, Art. No. A93.

H. S. P. Müller, B. J. Drouin, J. C. Pearson, M. H. Ordu, N. Wehres, F. Lewen, Rotational spectra of isotopic species of methyl cyanide, CH3CN, in their v8 = 1 excited vibrational states, Astron. Astrophys., 2016, 586, Art. No. A17.

In 2015

A. Walters, M. Schäfer, M. H. Ordu, F. Lewen, S. Schlemmer, H. S. P. Müller, Millimetre-wave spectrum of the singly deuterated isotopologues of anti-ethanol, J. Mol. Spectrosc., 2015, 314, 6–12.

H. S. P. Müller, L. R. Brown, B. J. Drouin, J. C. Pearson, I. Kleiner, R. L. Sams, K. Sung, M. H. Ordu, F. Lewen, Rotational spectroscopy as a tool to investigate interactions between vibrational polyads in symmetric top molecules: Low-lying states v8 ⩽ 2 of methyl cyanide, CH3CN, J. Mol. Spectrosc., 2015, 314, 6–12.

In 2014

J. B. Bossa, M. H. Ordu, H. S. P. Müller, F. Lewen, S. Schlemmer, Laboratory spectroscopy of 1, 2-propanediol at millimeter and submillimeter wavelengths, Astron. Astrophys., 2014, 570, Art. No. A12.

A. Belloche, R. T. Garrod, H. S. P. Müller, K. M. Menten, Detection of a branched alkyl molecule in the interstellar medium: iso-propyl cyanide, Science, 2014, 345, 1584–1587.

L.-H. Xu, R. M. Lees, Y. Hao, H. S. P. Müller, C. P. Endres, F. Lewen, S. Schlemmer, K. M. Menten, Millimeter wave and terahertz spectra and global fit of torsion–rotation transitions in the ground, first and second excited torsional states of 13CH3OH methanol, J. Mol. Spectrosc., 2014, 303, 1–7.