May 2021

The benzene derivative benzonitrile (C6H5CN) was detected by McGuire and co-workers toward TMC-1, as reported in Science in January 2018. The discovery was made with the Green Bank Telescope. While no confirmation of the detection has followed to date, a more extensive microwave spectrum of benzonitrile that was subsequently measured by Zdanovskaia et al. provides better data for subsequent searches. Benzonitrile was one of the first aromatic molecules to be detected.

Researcher Links
BA McGuire
AM Burkhardt
S Kalenskii
CN Shingledecker
AJ Remijan
E Herbst
MC McCarthy

The study of possible formation pathways to benzonitrile has focused on the reaction of CN radical with benzene and includes experimental and/or theoretical studies by Lee et al., Cooke et al., Trevitt et al., Woon, and Balucani et al.

Benzonitrile is one of the many cyano compounds detected in space to date. It is also known as cyanobenzene and phenyl cyanide.

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