Formation of NH3 and CH2NH in Titan's upper atmosphere

Roger V. Yelle, V. Vuitton, P. Lavvas, S. J. Klippenstein, M. A. Smith, S. M. Hörst, J. Cui

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63 Scopus citations


The large abundance of NH3 in Titan's upper atmosphere is a consequence of coupled ion and neutral chemistry. The density of NH3 is inferred from the measured abundance of NH4 +. NH 3 is produced primarily through reaction of NH2 with H2CN, a process neglected in previous models. NH2 is produced by several reactions including electron recombination of CH 2NH2 +. The density of CH2NH 2 + is closely linked to the density of CH2NH through proton exchange reactions and recombination. CH2NH is produced by reaction of N(2D) and NH with ambient hydrocarbons. Thus, production of NH3 is the result of a chain of reactions involving non-nitrile functional groups and the large density of NH3 implies large densities for these associated molecules. This suggests that amine and imine functional groups may be incorporated as well in other, more complex organic molecules.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-49
Number of pages19
JournalFaraday Discussions
StatePublished - 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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