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H2 formation on interstellar dust grains: The viewpoints of theory, experiments, models and observations

Journal article
Authors V. Wakelam
E. Bron
S. Cazaux
F. Dulieu
C. Gry
P. Guillard
E. Habart
L. Hornekær
S. Morisset
Gunnar Nyman
V. Pirronello
S. D. Price
V. Valdivia
G. Vidali
N. Watanabe
Published in Molecular Astrophysics
Volume 9
Pages 1-36
ISSN 2405-6758
Publication year 2017
Published at Department of Chemistry and Molecular Biology
Pages 1-36
Language en
Keywords Astrochemistry, Grain surface chemistry, Interstellar medium, Molecular hydrogen
Subject categories Chemical Sciences


Molecular hydrogen is the most abundant molecule in the universe. It is the first one to form and survive photo-dissociation in tenuous environments. Its formation involves catalytic reactions on the surface of interstellar grains. The micro-physics of the formation process has been investigated intensively in the last 20 years, in parallel of new astrophysical observational and modeling progresses. In the perspectives of the probable revolution brought by the future satellite JWST, this article has been written to present what we think we know about the H2 formation in a variety of interstellar environments. © 2017 Elsevier B.V.

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