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Formation of CO+ by radiative association

Journal article
Authors M. Zamecnikova
M. Gustafsson
P. Soldan
Gunnar Nyman
Published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume 489
Issue 2
Pages 2954-2960
ISSN 0035-8711
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Chemistry and Molecular Biology
Pages 2954-2960
Language en
Keywords astrochemistry, molecular processes, radiation mechanisms: general, supernovae: general, ISM:, potential-energy, electronic states, long-range, transition, surfaces, curves, Astronomy & Astrophysics
Subject categories Physical Sciences, Chemical Sciences


We theoretically estimate formation rate coefficients for CO+ through the radiative association of C+(P-2) with O(P-3). In 1989, Petuchowski et al. claimed radiative association to be the most important route for CO+ formation in SN 1987A. In 1990, Dalgarno, Du and You challenged this claim. Therefore, in this study, we improve previous estimates of the radiative association rate coefficients for forming CO+ from C+(P-2) and O(P-3). To do this, we perform quantum mechanically based perturbation theory calculations as well as semiclassical calculations, which are combined with Breit-Wigner theory in order to add the effect of shape resonances. We explicitly include four electronic transitions. The required potential energy and transition dipole-moment curves are obtained through large basis set multireference configuration interaction electronic structure calculations. We report cross-sections and from these we obtain rate coefficients in the range of 10-10 000 K, finding that the CO+ formation rate coefficient is larger than the previous estimate by Dalgarno et al. Still our results support their claim that in SN 1987A, CO is mainly formed through radiative association and not through the charge transfer reaction CO+ + O -> CO + O+ as earlier suggested by Petuchowski et al.

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