Sergio Pilling

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Benzene molecules, present in the proto-planetary nebula CRL 618, are ionized and dissociated by UV and X-ray photons originated from the hot central star and by its fast wind. Ionic species and free radicals produced by these processes can lead to the formation of new organic molecules. The aim of this work is to study the photoionization and(More)
We present results on the valence level excitation, ionization and dissociation of adenine, using time-of-flight mass spectrometry and synchrotron radiation, in the vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) range of 12-21 eV. The measurements were performed using a gas-phase (Ne) harmonics filter in order to eliminate contributions from higher-order harmonics. Mass spectra(More)
Photoionization and photofragmentation studies of formic acid (HCOOH) are performed for the valence shell electron ionization process. The total and partial ion yield of gaseous HCOOH were collected as a function of photon energy in the ultraviolet region, between 11.12 and 19.57 eV. Measurements of the total and partial ion yield of gaseous formic acid(More)
Despite the extensive search for glycine (NH₂CH₂COOH) and other amino acids in molecular clouds associated with star-forming regions, only upper limits have been derived from radio observations. Nevertheless, two of glycine's precursors, formic acid and acetic acid, have been abundantly detected. Although both precursors may lead to glycine formation, the(More)
Titan, the largest satellite of Saturn, has an atmosphere chiefly made up of N(2) and CH(4) and includes traces of many simple organic compounds. This atmosphere also partly consists of haze and aerosol particles which during the last 4.5 gigayears have been processed by electric discharges, ions, and ionizing photons, being slowly deposited over the Titan(More)
Glycine is the simplest proteinaceous amino acid and is present in all life-forms on Earth. In aqueous solutions, it appears mainly as zwitterion glycine (+NH3CH2COO-); however, in solid phase, it may be found in amorphous or crystalline (α, β, and γ) forms. The crystalline forms differ from each other by the packing of zwitterions in the unitary cells and(More)
Fragments from organic molecule dissociation (such as reactive ions and radicals) can form interstellar complex molecules like amino acids. The goal of this work is to experimentally study photoionization and photodissociation processes of acetic acid (CH3COOH), a glycine (NH2CH2COOH) precursor molecule, by soft X-ray photons. The measurements were taken at(More)
RATIONALE An interesting class of volatile compounds, the monoterpenes, is present in some plants although their functions are not yet fully understood. We have studied the interaction of the camphor molecule with monochromatic high-energy photons (synchrotron radiation) using time-of-flight mass spectrometry and coincidence techniques. METHODS A(More)
In order to investigate the role of medium mass cosmic rays and energetic solar particles in the processing of N2-rich ice on frozen moons and cold objects in the outer solar system, the bombardment of an N2 : H2O : NH3 : CO2 (98.2 : 1.5 : 0.2 : 0.1) ice mixture at 16 K employing 15.7 MeV 16O5+ was performed. The changes in the ice chemistry were monitored(More)
An experimental study of the interaction of highly charged, energetic ions (52 MeV (58)Ni(13+) and 15.7 MeV (16)O(5+)) with mixed H(2)O : C(18)O(2) astrophysical ice analogs at two different temperatures is presented. This analysis aims to simulate the chemical and the physicochemical interactions induced by cosmic rays inside dense, cold astrophysical(More)