Formation of hydroxylamine on dust grains via ammonia oxidation

Jiao He, Gianfranco Vidali, Jean Louis Lemaire, Robin T. Garrod

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations


The quest to detect prebiotic molecules in space, notably amino acids, requires an understanding of the chemistry involving nitrogen atoms. Hydroxylamine (NH2OH) is considered a precursor to the amino acid glycine. Although not yet detected, NH2OH is considered a likely target of detection with ALMA. We report on an experimental investigation of the formation of hydroxylamine on an amorphous silicate surface via the oxidation of ammonia. The experimental data are then fed into a simulation of the formation of NH2OH in dense cloud conditions. On ices at 14 K and with a modest activation energy barrier, NH2OH is found to be formed with an abundance that never falls below a factor 10 with respect to NH3. Suggestions of conditions for future observations are provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number49
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 20 2015



  • astrochemistry
  • dust
  • extinction
  • ISM: abundances
  • ISM: atoms
  • ISM: molecules

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics

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