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- The presence of isotopic anomalies is the most unequivocal demonstration that meteoritic material contains circumstellar or interstellar components. In the case of organic compounds in meteorites and interplanetary dust particles (IDPs), the most useful isotopic tracer has been deuterium (D). We discuss four processes that are expected to lead to D enrichment in interstellar materials and describe how their unique characteristics can be used to assess their relative importance for the organics in meteorites. These enrichment processes are low temperature gas phase ion-molecule reactions, low temperature gas-grain reactions, gas phase unimolecular photodissociation, and ultraviolet photolysis in D-enriched ice mantles. Each of these processes is expected to be associated with distinct regiochemical signatures (D placement on the product molecules, correlation with specific chemical functionalities, etc.), especially in the molecular population of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). We describe these differences and discuss how they may be used to delineate the various interstellar processes that may have contributed to meteoritic D enrichments. We also briefly discuss how these processes may affect the isotopic distributions in C, 0, and N in the same compounds.
- Document ID: 20010046980.
- No Copyright.
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