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PLASMAHOTCORE

PROJECT TITLE: Synthesis of transient complex molecular systems in laboratory plasmas with relevance for molecular astrophysics of hot cores — PLASMAHOTCORE

Coordinator:

  • Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi, Faculty of Physics
  • Iasi Plasma Advanced Research Center (IPARC) 

Partners: -

Period: January 2014 – December 2016

Project director: Ionut Topala

Project team:

  • 4 senior researchers; part time involvement
  • 1 senior researcher; full time involvement
  • 2-3 students and junior researchers

Description: The aim of the present proposal is to support the coagulation of a research team in Romania with molecular astrophysics as main research direction. We propose to study the synthesis of transient complex molecular systems in laboratory plasmas in noble gas –hydrogen –CnH2n+2 or CnH2n+1OH or CnH2nO mixtures. Chemical synthesis assisted by plasma and conversion into higher molecules is an important topic related to the molecular physics of hot cores. Attention will be devoted also to volume and surface processing in plasmas of simple amino acids and monosacharides, in order to obtain answers related to the processes affecting the molecules of biological importance in energetic environments.

Project objectives:

  • plasma diagnosis and study of complex plasma constituents
  • study of the plasma assisted chemical synthesis and generation of high molecular mass compounds
  • laser and UV-Vis absorption spectroscopy diagnosis of transient plasmas used for synthesis of complex molecular systems similar to hot cores
  • surface chemical reactions in transient plasmas on various substrates: reactions on graphite and similarities to grain surface chemistry in hot cores

Activities:

2014

  • Plasma diagnosis and study of complex plasma constituents: electrical and optical diagnosis, mass and energy of positive/negative molecular ions, ions and electron densities, neutral molecules and neutral free radicals (ground state or excited)
  • Study of the plasma assisted chemical synthesis and generation of high molecular mass compounds. Identification of transient and stable molecular compounds in laboratory plasma and theirs relevance for the molecules observed in hot cores

2015

  • Laser plasma diagnosis of transient plasma used for synthesis of complex molecular systems similar to hot cores: gas temperature measurements function on plasma parameters, synergies or individual effects of plasma components, density measurements of selected plasma molecules
  • UV-IR broadband spectroscopy applied for final products characterization after plasma volume chemical reactions: identification of molecular signatures and similarities to telescope observation from hot cores
  • Surface chemical reactions in transient plasmas on various substrates: reactions on graphite and similarities to grain surface chemistry in hot cores

2016

  • Noble gas –H2 plasma diagnosis during the injection of simple biological molecules, of amino acids and monosacharides type: injection methods, electrical and optical measurements, plasma dynamics
  • Exploitation of two powerful techniques, mass spectrometry and laser induced fluorescence, in order to get inside of plasma chemistry in presence of biological molecules
  • Surface processes and clustering in plasmas containing biological molecules

Contributions to the STAR programme objectives:

Space science is one of the research fields encouraged by ROSA. Thus, implementation of the present grant in Plasma Physics Laboratory at University of Iasi will encourage the coagulation of new research direction –Plasma Laboratory Studies for Molecular Astrophysics. This may lead to other cooperation with the team in Europe based on similar scientific interest, professionalism and extensive experience of the partners, as well as a possibility of sharing each others’ experimental facilities for very specialized and beneficial research activities.

Homepage: PLASMAHOTCORE