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Suggested plausible structures for Titan's haze analogs using tandem mass spectrometry

Abstract : Understanding the formation and composition of the organic photochemical haze produced in Titan's upper atmosphere is an important milestone in prebiotic chemistry, for the early Earth climate and for the origin of life. However, retrieving knowledge about this organic fog is limited because of non-sample return possibilities. Chemical analyses from previous laboratory experiments allowed to obtain molecular information from analogues of this haze that were produced on Earth. In the current work, we push forward our comprehension of the structure composing this complex sample using tandem mass spectrometry. This type of analysis allows to recover structural information thanks to the observation of systematic fragmentation patterns. Strong differences are found between soluble and insoluble fractions of the aerosols and putative structures are proposed. Both highly aromatic structures as well as archipelago-like structures were observed in the insoluble fraction. The soluble fraction contains chemical structures with weaker bonds, composed of small aromatics cores linked together by short chains.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, November 18, 2020 - 11:37:28 AM
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Julien Maillard, Isabelle Schmitz-Afonso, Thomas Gautier, Carlos Afonso, Nathalie Carrasco. Suggested plausible structures for Titan's haze analogs using tandem mass spectrometry. Icarus, Elsevier, 2020, 114181 (in press). ⟨10.1016/j.icarus.2020.114181⟩. ⟨insu-02982671⟩

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