Theoretical investigation of interstellar C–C–O and C–O–C bonding backbone molecules

Research paper by Emmanuel E. Etim, Prasanta Gorai, Ankan Das, Elangannan Arunan

Indexed on: 08 Dec '17Published on: 07 Dec '17Published in: Astrophysics and Space Science


There are numerous complex organic molecules containing carbon and oxygen atoms which show either C–C–O or C–O–C bonding backbone. This paper examines altogether 51 C–C–O and C–O–C bonding backbone molecules from ten different isomeric groups (C2H2O, C3H2O, C2H4O, C2H4O2, C3H4O, C2H6O, C2H6O2, C3H6O, C3H6O2, C3H8O) to summarize the present astronomical status of these molecules. Accurate calculations of enthalpy of formation of these molecules show that the isomers with C–C–O backbone are more stable than the C–O–C backbone. Interestingly, a detailed analysis of relevant astromolecules indicates that most of the observed astromolecules have the C–C–O backbone. As a matter of fact, of all the molecules examined in this study, 80% of the astronomically observed species have the C–C–O backbone while only 20% have the C–O–C backbone. In general, interstellar abundance of a molecule is controlled by some factors such as kinetics, formation and destruction pathways,thermodynamics etc. A proper consideration of these factors could explain the observed abundances of these molecules. All these possible key factors are discussed in this paper.