December 2023

The initial detection of glycolonitrile (HOCH2CN) was reported in 2019 by Zeng and co-workers toward the solar-like protostellar system IRAS 16293-2422B using ALMA. The detection was based on experimental work by Margulès and co-workers, who had unsuccessfully sought glycolonitrile toward Sgr B2(N) in 2017. The molecule was subsequently detected in 2021 by Ligterink and co-workers toward the SSM1 cloud in Serpens, but less abundant isotopic variants were not detected in the source.

Researcher Links
S Zeng
D Quénard
I Jiménez-Serra
J Martín-Pintado
VM Rivilla
L Testi
R Martín-Doménech

Subsequent studies of glycolonitrile include modeling work by Zhao and coworkers, a gas phase route to its formation proposed by Guerrero-Méndez and coworkers, and an ice surface formation pathway proposed by Woon.

Glycolonitrile belongs to the most extensive collection of known astromolecules, the cyano family. Its alternative names include cyanomethanol and 2-hydroxyacetonitrile.

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