ECNU researcher makes new progress in space exploration science


Yang Tao, a researcher with the State Key Laboratory of Precision Spectroscopy at ECNU, recently had his work on space exploration sciences published in the U.S. magazine Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). Yang Tao’s studies revolve around the field of physics, chemistry and astronomy, in which his study was called Gas phase formation of c-SiC3 molecules in the circumstellar envelope of carbon stars.  

ECNU researchers comprised the first unit of the article with Yang Tao as first author, while the correspondent authors included Yang, Martin Head-Gordon with the University of California, Berkeley, and Ralf I. Kaiser with the University  of Hawaii. Li Xiaohu with Xinjiang Astronomical Observatory, CAS, also contributed to the research findings.

Yang Tao’s studies revolve around the field of physics, chemistry and astronomy.

Worldwide research on space exploration has increased in recent years. For instance, the Herschel telescope built and operated by the European Space Agency, the large ALMA telescope in Chile, the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST) in China's Guizhou Province, the 65-meter Tianma telescope in Shanghai Astronomical Observatory, the 110-meter omnidirectional movable radio telescope QTT in Xinjiang Astronomical Observatory, and the world’s largest radio telescope SKA with China as one of the participating countries.

Those telescopes are tasked with exploring the formation and evolution of galaxies in the early-stage cosmos as well as star formation and the interactions with interstellar medium. In addition, helping with studies on the chemical composition of the surface and atmosphere of celestial bodies in the solar system, including stars, planets and their satellites.

Nevertheless, a sharp contrast to the explosive growth of large-scale telescopes and observation data with the use of the telescopes, the development of molecular spectroscopy and molecular dynamics experiments continues to be slow, resulting in the lack of data input for astronomical observation and celestial modeling.

Exploiting silicon tricarbide (c-SiC3) as a benchmark, the ECNU research provides evidence from laboratory experiments, electronic structure calculations, and astrochemical modeling, that organosilicon species can be synthesized via distinct chemistries in the inner and outer envelope of carbon stars like IRC+10216 via bimolecular reactions followed by photochemical dehydrogenation to bare silicon carbon molecules. These mechanisms are of fundamental significance to facilitate an understanding of how carbon and silicon chemistries can be coupled to synthesize organosilicon molecules in the universe.

Yang Tao, a researcher with the State Key Laboratory of Precision Spectroscopy at ECNU.

The research was financed by the Special Fund for Basic Research of Universities under the Central Government.

Editd by Siyuan Zhang    Proofread by Joshua Mayfield    Reviewed by Wenjun Guo


East China Normal University