Organic Complexity in Protostellar Disk Candidates

Jennifer B. Bergner*, Rafael Martín-Doménech, Karin I. Öberg, Jes K. Jørgensen, Elizabeth Artur De La Villarmois, Christian Brinch

*Corresponding author for this work

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We present ALMA observations of organic molecules toward five low-mass Class 0/I protostellar disk candidates in the Serpens cluster. Three sources (Ser-emb 1, Ser-emb 8, and Ser-emb 17) present emission of CH3OH as well as CH3OCH3, CH3OCHO, and CH2CO, while NH2CHO is detected in just Ser-emb 8 and Ser-emb 17. Detecting hot corino-type chemistry in three of five sources represents a high occurrence rate given the relative sparsity of these sources in the literature, and this suggests a possible link between protostellar disk formation and hot corino formation. For sources with CH3OH detections, we derive column densities of 1017-1018 cm-2 and rotational temperatures of ∼200-250 K. The CH3OH-normalized column density ratios of large, oxygen-bearing COMs in the Serpens sources and other hot corinos span 2 orders of magnitude, demonstrating a high degree of chemical diversity at the hot corino stage. Resolved observations of a larger sample of objects are needed to understand the origins of chemical diversity in hot corinos, and the relationship between different protostellar structural elements on disk-forming scales.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAcs Earth and Space Chemistry
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)1564-1575
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • astrochemistry
  • complex organic molecules
  • hot corinos
  • interstellar medium
  • low-mass protostars

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