On Titan, acrylonitrile would crystallise into its molecular ice instead of an azotosome, quantum mechanical calculations have shown


Photographer: NASA/Yen Strandqvist/Chalmers

Using advanced quantum mechanical calculations, the researchers compared the energy of the proposed azotosome membrane embedded in methane with that of the molecular crystal form of acrylonitrile – its molecular ice. They discovered that each building block added to the azotosome increased its energy significantly, making its formation progressively less likely thermodynamically. They conclude therefore that while azotosomes could survive on Titan, they would not self-assemble under such conditions. Instead, acrylonitrile would crystallise into its molecular ice.

Low resolution

Medium resolution

Original resolution

About Us

Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg conducts research and education in technology and natural sciences at a high international level. The university has 3100 employees and 10,000 students, and offers education in engineering, science, shipping and architecture. With scientific excellence as a basis, Chalmers promotes knowledge and technical solutions for a sustainable world. Through global commitment and entrepreneurship, we foster an innovative spirit, in close collaboration with wider society.The EU’s biggest research initiative – the Graphene Flagship – is coordinated by Chalmers. We are also leading the development of a Swedish quantum computer. Chalmers was founded in 1829 and has the same motto today as it did then: Avancez – forward.

Contacts

Subscribe