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Extending the Limits of Rotationally Resolved Absorption Spectroscopy: Pyrene

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posted on 16.12.2015, 21:39 authored by Brian E. Brumfield, Jacob T. Stewart, Benjamin J. McCall
We report the rotationally resolved gas phase spectrum of pyrene (C16H10), which is now the largest molecule to be observed with rotational resolution using absorption spectroscopy. This represents a significant advance in the application of absorption spectroscopy to large carbon-containing molecules of fundamental chemical and astronomical importance. Such spectra will facilitate the search for large and highly symmetric molecules in interstellar space, where they may be abundant but cannot be detected without the support of high-resolution laboratory spectra. Detailed assignment and analysis of our spectrum indicates that pyrene is the most rigid rotor yet observed, and that a supersonic expansion cools both the rotational and vibrational temperatures of pyrene vapor produced in an oven source.