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An Atmospheric Origin for HCN-Derived Polymers on Titan

Abstract : Titan’s haze is strongly suspected to be an HCN-derived polymer, but despite the first in situ measurements by the ESA-Huygens space probe, its chemical composition and formation process remain largely unknown. To investigate this question, we simulated the atmospheric haze formation process, experimentally. We synthesized analogues of Titan’s haze, named Titan tholins, in an irradiated N2–CH4 gas mixture, mimicking Titan’s upper atmosphere chemistry. HCN was monitored in situ in the gas phase simultaneously with the formation and evolution of the haze particles. We show that HCN is produced as long as the particles are absent, and is then progressively consumed when the particles appear and grow. This work highlights HCN as an effective precursor of Titan’s haze and confirms the HCN-derived polymer nature of the haze.
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Submitted on : Friday, June 4, 2021 - 8:09:16 PM
Last modification on : Sunday, June 26, 2022 - 3:09:30 AM
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Zoé Perrin, Nathalie Carrasco, Audrey Chatain, Lora Jovanovic, Ludovic Vettier, et al.. An Atmospheric Origin for HCN-Derived Polymers on Titan. Processes, MDPI, 2021, 9, pp.965. ⟨10.3390/pr9060965⟩. ⟨insu-03250687⟩



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