Talk - Stephanie Cazaux: "The sequence to hydrogenate coronene cations: A journey guided by magic numbers"
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Stephanie Cazaux, Technical University of Delft, Astrodynamics and Space Missions
The sequence to hydrogenate coronene cations: A journey guided by magic numbers.
The understanding of hydrogen attachment on Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon is essential to the understanding of the formation of cosmic H2. By using coronene cations as prototypical PAHs, the existence of magic numbers upon hydrogenation was uncovered experimentally. Quantum chemistry calculations show that hydrogenation follows a site-specific sequence leading to the appearance of the most stable cations with 5, 11, or 17 hydrogen atoms, exactly the magic numbers found in the experiments. For these stable closed-shell cations, further hydrogenation requires appreciable structural changes associated with a high transition barrier. The occurrence of stable super hydrogenated PAHs could be important to identify PAHs in space and determine their contribution to the formation of H2.