Laboratory and observational studies of C60 and C60+

PHYS 494

Susanna L. Widicus Weaver, slww@uiuc.edu1, Matthew C. Zwier, mzwier2@uiuc.edu2, Yun Ding2, and Benjamin J. McCall, bjmccall@uiuc.edu1. (1) Departments of Chemistry and Astronomy, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 600 South Mathews Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801, (2) Department of Chemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 600 South Mathews Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801
Fullerenes have long been thought to be present in space. The simplest fullerene, C60, was serendipitously discovered during experiments simulating the chemistry in carbon star outflows. The cage-like structure of this molecule suggests its stability in the interstellar medium. In diffuse clouds, its ionized form (C60+) should be dominant, and two diffuse interstellar bands have been tentatively assigned to C60+ based on laboratory matrix isolation spectra. Yet no laboratory gas phase absorption spectrum of any neutral or ionized fullerene has been obtained, hindering observational searches. We have begun the study of gas phase C60 and C60+ by infrared continuous-wave cavity ringdown spectroscopy using a supersonic molecular beam source. Observational searches for C60 have also been conducted with TEXES at NASA's Infrared Telescope Facility. This talk will outline the history of laboratory and observational studies of these species, and the initial results of our laboratory and observational searches will be presented.

Molecules in Space
8:20 AM-11:40 AM, Thursday, 30 March 2006 Georgia World Congress Center -- A402, Oral

Division of Physical Chemistry

The 231st ACS National Meeting, Atlanta, GA, March 26-30, 2006