Chemistry of C-3 and carbon chain molecules in DR21(OH)
Journal article, 2012
Context. C-3 is the smallest pure carbon chain detected in the dense environment of star-forming regions, although diatomic C-2 is detected in diffuse clouds. Measurement of the abundance of C-3 and the chemistry of its formation in dense star-forming regions has remained relatively unexplored. Aims. We aim to identify the primary C-3 formation routes in dense star-forming regions following a chemical network producing species like CCH and c-C3H2 in the star-forming cores associated with DR21(OH), a high-mass star-forming region. Methods. We observed velocity resolved spectra of four ro-vibrational far-infrared transitions of C-3 between the vibrational ground state and the low-energy nu(2) bending mode at frequencies between 1654-1897 GHz using HIFI on board Herschel, in DR21(OH). Several transitions of CCH and c-C3H2 were also observed with HIFI and the IRAM 30 m telescope. Rotational temperatures and column densities for all chemical species were estimated. A gas and grain warm-up model was used to obtain estimates of densities and temperatures of the envelope. The chemical network in the model was used to identify the primary C-3 forming reactions in DR21(OH). Results. We detected C-3 in absorption in four far-infrared transitions, P(4), P(10), Q(2), and Q(4). The continuum sources MM1 and MM2 in DR21(OH), though spatially unresolved, are sufficiently separated in velocity to be identified in the C-3 spectra. All C-3 transitions are detected from the embedded source MM2 and the surrounding envelope, whereas only Q(4) and P(4) are detected toward the hot core MM1. The abundance of C-3 in the envelope and MM2 is similar to 6 x 10(-10) and similar to 3 x 10(-9), respectively. For CCH and c-C3H2, we only detect emission from the envelope and MM1. The observed CCH, C-3 and c-C3H2 abundances are most consistent with a chemical model with n(H2) similar to 5 x 10(6) cm(-3), a post-warm-up dust temperature T-max = 30 K, and a time of similar to 0.7-3 Myr. Conclusions. Post-warm-up gas phase chemistry of CH4 released from the grain at t similar to 0.2 Myr and lasting for 1 Myr can explain the observed C-3 abundance in the envelope of DR21(OH), and no mechanism involving photodestruction of PAH molecules is required. The chemistry in the envelope is similar to the warm carbon chain chemistry found in lukewarm corinos. We interpret the observed lower C-3 abundance in MM1 as compared to MM2 and the envelope to be due to the destruction of C-3 in the more evolved MM1. The timescale for the chemistry derived for the envelope is consistent with the dynamical timescale of 2 Myr derived for DR21(OH) in other studies.
ISM: lines and bands
translucent sight lines
ISM: individual objects: DR21(OH)