Investigation of ion-molecule collision processes relevant to the atmosphere of Titan.
Abstract: This proposal should provide basic funds for laboratory research in connection with the invitation to participate in the prestigious project EuroPlaNet. This EC project will exploit results of space missions, namely Cassini-Huygens, and on the basis of in-situ, laboratory, and astronomical data provide a model of the atmosphere dynamics of Saturn's moon Titan. We propose – in a wide international collaboration – to investigate experimentally and theoretically elementary ion-molecule collision processes (namely chemical reactions) between constituents of Titan's atmosphere, i.e. moieties of nitrogen (N+, N2+, N++, N2++, N2), methane, and hydrocarbons C2-C6 and products formed in these processes. For this, a unique combination of mass spectrometric, flow tube, crossed beam, infra-red spectroscopic, and quantum chemical methods will be used. A special attention will be given to kinetics and dynamics of reactions of C-N and C-C bond formation.