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Making More-Complex Molecules Using Superthermal Atom/Molecule CollisionsA method of making more-complex molecules from simpler ones has emerged as a by-product of an experimental study in outer-space atom/surface collision physics. The subject of the study was the formation of CO2 molecules as a result of impingement of O atoms at controlled kinetic energies upon cold surfaces onto which CO molecules had been adsorbed. In this study, the O/CO system served as a laboratory model, not only for the formation of CO2 but also for the formation of other compounds through impingement of rapidly moving atoms upon molecules adsorbed on such cold interstellar surfaces as those of dust grains or comets. By contributing to the formation of increasingly complex molecules, including organic ones, this study and related other studies may eventually contribute to understanding of the origins of life.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Document Type
Other - NASA Tech Brief
Shortt, Brian
(California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Chutjian, Ara
(California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Orient, Otto
(California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 24, 2013
Publication Date
September 1, 2008
Publication Information
Publication: NASA Tech Briefs, September 2008
Subject Category
Inorganic, Organic And Physical Chemistry
Report/Patent Number
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
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