February 2022

Exotic new species are frequently proposed as candidates for possible astronomical detection. In 2019, Cabezas and co-workers reported a study of a number of linear cyanoacetylide molecules with a M–C≡C–C≡N structure containing the alkali metals Li and Na and alkaline earth metals Mg and Ca. The lightest of the species they investigated was lithium cyanoacetylide, LiCCCN (or LiC3N). The work combined theoretical predictions, experimental measurements, and astronomical observations. Rotational ransitions from J=27-26 to J=44-43 were sought in a 3 mm line survey of IRC +10216 and were not detected. The upper limit of the column density of both LiCCCN and NaCCCN is 8x1010 cm-2.

Researcher Links
C Cabezas
C Barrientos
A Largo
J-C Guillemin
J Cernicharo
JL Alonso

To date, there has been no definitive detection of any molecule containing Li in space. Although there is some evidence for LiH, the most recent search for it with ALMA did not detect it toward Sgr B2 or W49N. There evidently have been no searches reported to date for other Li-containing compounds that might reasonably be expected to be present in space, including LiF, LiCl, and LiCN.

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