First-Principles Study of the Reaction Mechanism of CHO + H on Graphene Surface

J Phys Chem A. 2019 Jul 5;123(26):5633-5639. doi: 10.1021/acs.jpca.9b02345. Epub 2019 Jun 19.


Many organic molecules observed in the interstellar medium are considered to be formed on dust grains and populated into the gas phase. We analyzed the reaction of HCO + H on a graphene surface using ab initio molecular dynamics simulations as a case study of the formation and desorption of organic molecules on interstellar dust particles. During the reactions of chemisorbed CHO (chemisorbed at the C atom) with free H, CO was generated and efficiently desorbed from the surface. These results suggest that the reactions, of which the reactant forms a covalent bond with the surface while the product does not, cause efficient desorption of the product upon reaction. In such reactions a repulsive force between the product and the surface would be generated and accelerate translation of the product in a specific direction. In addition, it was also shown that the branching ratio of the reactions between radical species on the surface would be affected by the form of the adsorption on the surface, e.g., when a free H reacted with the CHO chemisorbed at the C atom, CH2O was not generated.