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Title: Ice Age: Chemodynamical Modeling of Cha-MMS1 to Predict New Solid-phase Species for Detection with JWST
Abstract Chemical models and experiments indicate that interstellar dust grains and their ice mantles play an important role in the production of complex organic molecules (COMs). To date, the most complex solid-phase molecule detected with certainty in the interstellar medium is methanol, but the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) may be able to identify still larger organic species. In this study, we use a coupled chemodynamical model to predict new candidate species for JWST detection toward the young star-forming core Cha-MMS1, combining the gas–grain chemical kinetic code MAGICKAL with a 1D radiative hydrodynamics simulation using Athena++ . With this model, the relative abundances of the main ice constituents with respect to water toward the core center match well with typical observational values, providing a firm basis to explore the ice chemistry. Six oxygen-bearing COMs (ethanol, dimethyl ether, acetaldehyde, methyl formate, methoxy methanol, and acetic acid), as well as formic acid, show abundances as high as, or exceeding, 0.01% with respect to water ice. Based on the modeled ice composition, the infrared spectrum is synthesized to diagnose the detectability of the new ice species. The contribution of COMs to IR absorption bands is minor compared to the main ice constituents, and more » the identification of COM ice toward the core center of Cha-MMS1 with the JWST NIRCAM/Wide Field Slitless Spectroscopy (2.4–5.0 μ m) may be unlikely. However, MIRI observations (5–28 μ m) toward COM-rich environments where solid-phase COM abundances exceed 1% with respect to the column density of water ice might reveal the distinctive ice features of COMs. « less
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The Astrophysical Journal
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National Science Foundation
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  1. Abstract

    A new, more comprehensive model of gas–grain chemistry in hot molecular cores is presented, in which nondiffusive reaction processes on dust-grain surfaces and in ice mantles are implemented alongside traditional diffusive surface/bulk-ice chemistry. We build on our nondiffusive treatments used for chemistry in cold sources, adopting a standard collapse/warm-up physical model for hot cores. A number of other new chemical model inputs and treatments are also explored in depth, culminating in a final model that demonstrates excellent agreement with gas-phase observational abundances for many molecules, including some (e.g., methoxymethanol) that could not be reproduced by conventional diffusive mechanisms. The observed ratios of structural isomers methyl formate, glycolaldehyde, and acetic acid are well reproduced by the models. The main temperature regimes in which various complex organic molecules (COMs) are formed are identified. Nondiffusive chemistry advances the production of many COMs to much earlier times and lower temperatures than in previous model implementations. Those species may form either as by-products of simple-ice production, or via early photochemistry within the ices while external UV photons can still penetrate. Cosmic ray-induced photochemistry is less important than in past models, although it affects some species strongly over long timescales. Another production regime occurs duringmore »the high-temperature desorption of solid water, whereby radicals trapped in the ice are released onto the grain/ice surface, where they rapidly react. Several recently proposed gas-phase COM-production mechanisms are also introduced, but they rarely dominate. New surface/ice reactions involving CH and CH2are found to contribute substantially to the formation of certain COMs.

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