May 2017

Sulfonium ion

The presence of the sulfonium ion (H3S+) was sought via its 10-00 rotational transition at 293.4572 GHz toward a number of sources by Neufeld et al. using the Institut de Radioastronomie Millimétrique (IRAM) 30m telescope on Pico Valeta in southern Spain. Four other sulfur-containing molecules were successfully detected by the study: SH, H2S, CS, and SO. The five objects where H3S+ was searched for include the star-forming regions W31C, G29.96-0.02, G34.2+0.1, W49N, and W51. The upper limit derived for H3S+ relative to H2S—τ(H3S+)/τ(H2S)—was about 0.01. The 10-00 rotational transition of H3S+ was measured by Saito et al. in 1987.

Researcher Links
DA Neufeld
B Godard
M Gerin
GP des Forêts
C Bernier
E Falgarone
UU Graf
R Güsten
E Herbst
P Lesaffre
P Schilke
P Sonnentrucker
H Wiesemeyer

Sulfonium or protonated hydrogen sulfide is analogous to the known astromolecule, hydronium, H3O+. Both compounds are pyramidal. In organic chemistry, sulfonium is also the generic term for any tricoordinated sulfur cation (SR1R2R3)+. A large number of sulfonium salts have been characterized.

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