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Excitation and fragmentation of CnN⁺ (n=1-3) molecules in collisions with He atoms at intermediate velocity ; fundamental aspects and application to astrochemistry

Abstract : This thesis studies the aftermath of collision between singly positively charged Nitrogenated carbon species CnN⁺ (n=0,1,2,3) and neutral Helium atom at a velocity of 2.25 au. At this velocity, close to the velocity of outer electrons in atoms and molecules, several electronic processes take place and are near their maximum of probability such as ionisation (single, double, triple …), electronic excitation and electron capture (single and double). We looked at their cross sections and how their evolution with the molecule size. Following the collision the molecule can fragment, which leads to another interesting aspect, the fragmentation branching ratios. Collision experiments were done using a Tandem accelerator at Orsay that produced the CnN⁺ projectiles and a dedicated set-up, AGAT, to capture the flying fragments/intact molecule after collision according to their charge to mass ratio. Knowing the number of particles that are shot and the fact that our set-up allows no loss of fragments/intact molecule, we could get the probabilities of various fragments formed. Using these probabilities and a knowledge of the Helium jet profile used, we could measure their cross sections. The probabilities alone are sufficient to obtain the fragmentation branching ratios.The next step was to use a theoretical model to simulate the collision. We used Independent Atom and Electron (IAE) model coupled with Classical Trajectory Monte Carlo (CTMC) method to calculate the desired cross sections. A general good agreement was obtained, with the exception of double electron capture. The model could also predict, through the calculation of the species internal energy, the fragmentation branching ratios of cations CnN⁺ after electronic excitation. Also, the branching ratios were used to construct semi-empirical Breakdown Curves (BDCs), which are internal energy dependent dissociation branching ratios specific to each molecule, type, size and charge. With those, we could recommend products branching ratios to be used for various processes of astrochemical interest. The products branching ratios will be made available for a wider network of researchers under the international Kinetic Database for Astrochemistry (KIDA).This thesis was realized under the doctoral programme of Ecole Doctorale Ondes et Matiere (EDOM) with Institut des Sciences Moléculaires d’Orsay (ISMO) where the author was given an office and Université Paris-Sud where the author is formally enrolled.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, October 1, 2019 - 1:05:41 AM
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Thejus Mahajan. Excitation and fragmentation of CnN⁺ (n=1-3) molecules in collisions with He atoms at intermediate velocity ; fundamental aspects and application to astrochemistry. Atomic and Molecular Clusters [physics.atm-clus]. Université Paris Saclay (COmUE), 2018. English. ⟨NNT : 2018SACLS311⟩. ⟨tel-02301992⟩



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