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      On Cosmic Ray-Driven Grain Chemistry in Cold Core Models

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          Abstract

          In this paper, we present preliminary results illustrating the effect of cosmic rays on solid-phase chemistry in models of both TMC-1 and several sources with physical conditions identical to TMC-1 except for hypothetically enhanced ionization rates. Using a recent theory for the addition of cosmic ray-induced reactions to astrochemical models, we calculated the radiochemical yields, called \(G\) values, for the primary dust grain ice-mantle constituents. We show that the inclusion of this non-thermal chemistry can lead to the formation of complex organic molecules from simpler ice-mantle constituents, even under cold core conditions. In addition to enriching ice-mantles, we find that these new radiation-chemical processes can lead to increased gas-phase abundances as well, particularly for HOCO, NO\(_2\), HC\(_2\)O, methyl formate (HCOOCH\(_3\)), and ethanol (CH\(_3\)CH\(_2\)OH). These model results imply that HOCO - and perhaps NO\(_2\) - might be observable in TMC-1. Future detections of either of these two species in cold interstellar environments could provide strong support for the importance of cosmic ray-driven radiation chemistry. The increased gas-phase abundance of methyl formate can be compared with abundances achieved through other formation mechanisms such as pure gas-phase chemistry and three-body surface reactions.

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          Most cited references 2

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          The Formation and Depletion of Molecules in Dense Interstellar Clouds

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            Energetic Charged-Particle Interactions with Atmospheres and Surfaces

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              Author and article information

              Journal
              15 May 2018
              Article
              1805.05764

              http://arxiv.org/licenses/nonexclusive-distrib/1.0/

              Custom metadata
              ApJ, accepted
              astro-ph.GA

              Galaxy astrophysics

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