Enhanced production of HD and D2 molecules on small dust grains in diffuse clouds

Azi Lipshtat*, Ofer Biham, Eric Herbst

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Motivated by recent observations of deuterated molecules in the interstellar medium, we examine the production of HD and D2 molecules on dust grain surfaces. A mechanism for the enhanced production of these deuterated molecules is studied. This mechanism applies on grain surfaces on which D atoms stick more strongly than H atoms, under conditions of low flux and within a suitable range of temperatures. It is shown that under these conditions the production rates of HD and D2 are greatly enhanced (versus the Ha production rate) compared with the expected rates based on the adsorption of gas-phase atomic abundances of D and H. The enhancement in the formation rate of HD is comparable to the enhancement due to gas-phase ion-molecule reactions in diffuse clouds.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1055-1064
Number of pages10
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2004


  • ISM: molecules
  • Molecular processes


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