Studying star- and planet-forming regions in our galaxy provides important clues about the chemical history of the Solar System and the origin of life on Earth. To interpret such clues, it is crucial to identify which molecules are present which implies that they have previously been investigated in the laboratory. The principal investigator of this project has recently contributed to the development of a new experimental technique, the microwave spectral taxonomy, enabling the identification of new molecules in exotic chemical mixtures in the centimeter-wave domain.
This project aims at extending the spectral taxonomy to the millimeter-wave domain, a spectral region with a renewed interest due to the advent of powerful radiointerfereometers, both extremely sensitive and resolutive, such as NOEMA and ALMA. The obtained molecular fingerprints will enable astronomers to look for new reactive species in the interstellar medium using these instruments and thus to understand better the chemical and physical processes in space.
This project is funded by the Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR-19-CE30-0017), the Région Ile-de-France, through DIM-ACAV$^+$, and the CNRS.