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Adv Space Res. 2001;27(2):283-8.

IR and UV spectroscopic data for polyynes: predictions for long carbon chain compounds in Titan's atmosphere.

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  • 1Laboratoire Interuniversitaire des Systemes Atmospheriques (LISA), 61 Avenue du General de Gaulle, Creiteil Cedex, 94010, France.


A better understanding of the complex organic chemistry occurring in the methane rich atmosphere of Titan can be achieved via the comparison of observations with results obtained by theoretical models. Available observations are still few but their analysis requires the knowledge of a large set of data, namely frequencies and absolute band intensities. Cross sections are also needed to develop the chemical schemes of photochemical models, in particular the schemes leading to the formation of haze particles visible on Titan. Unfortunately, some of these parameters are not well known, especially if one takes into account the extreme physical conditions of the studied object. This lack of data is particularly enhanced for polyynes because these compounds are highly unstable at the usual pressure and temperature conditions of a laboratory and therefore are very difficult to study. We have developed UV and IR studies, coupling experimental and theoretical approaches, in order to extrapolate the parameters available for short polyynes to longer carbon chains. In the mid-UV range, when the length of the chain increases, the absorption system of polyynes is shifted to longer wavelength and its oscillator strength increases linearly. In the IR range, with the increase of the number of carbon bonds, the positions of the CCC and CCH bending modes shift to lower energy, the latest converging rapidly to a fixed value of 620.5 cm-1 for an infinite length polyyne. Implications for detection and evolution of polyynes in Titan's atmosphere are emphasised.

c2001 COSPAR. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

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