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Title: Preparation of methanediamine (CH 2 (NH 2 ) 2 )—A precursor to nucleobases in the interstellar medium
Although methanediamine (CH 2 (NH 2 ) 2 ) has historically been the subject of theoretical scrutiny, it has never been isolated to date. Here, we report the preparation of methanediamine (CH 2 (NH 2 ) 2 )—the simplest diamine. Low-temperature interstellar analog ices composed of ammonia and methylamine were exposed to energetic electrons which act as proxies for secondary electrons produced in the track of galactic cosmic rays. These experimental conditions, which simulate the conditions within cold molecular clouds, result in radical formation and initiate aminomethyl (ĊH 2 NH 2 ) and amino ( N . H 2 ) radical chemistry. Exploiting tunable photoionization reflectron time-of-flight mass spectrometry (PI-ReToF-MS) to make isomer-specific assignments, methanediamine was identified in the gas phase upon sublimation, while its isomer methylhydrazine (CH 3 NHNH 2 ) was not observed. The molecular formula was confirmed to be CH 6 N 2 through the use of isotopically labeled reactants. Methanediamine is the simplest molecule to contain the NCN moiety and could be a vital intermediate in the abiotic formation of heterocyclic and aromatic systems such as nucleobases, which all contain the NCN moiety.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
2103269
NSF-PAR ID:
10415827
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Volume:
119
Issue:
51
ISSN:
0027-8424
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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