The recent detection of anions in the interstellar medium has shown that they exist in a variety of astrophysical environments -- circumstellar envelopes, cold dense molecular clouds and star-forming regions. Both radiative and collisional processes contribute to molecular excitation and de-excitation in these regions so that the ‘local thermodynamic equilibrium’ approximation, where collisions cause the gas to behave thermally, is not generally valid. Therefore, along with radiative coefficients, collisional excitation rate coefficients are needed to accurately model the anionic emission from these environments. We focus on the calculation of state-to-state rate coefficients of the C6H- molecule in its ground vibrational state in collisions with para-H2, ortho-H2 and He using new potential energy surfaces. Dynamical calculations for the pure rotational excitation of C6H- were performed for the first 11 rotational levels (up to j1 = 10) using the close-coupling method, while the coupled-states approximation was used to extend the H2 rate coefficients to j1 = 30, where j1 is the angular momentum quantum number of C6H-. State-to-state rate coefficients were obtained for temperatures ranging from 2 to 100 K. The rate coefficients for H2 collisions for Δj1 = −1 transitions are of the order of 10-10 cm3 s-1, a factor of 2 to 3 greater than those of He. Propensity rules are discussed. The collisional excitation rate coefficients produced here impact astrophysical modelling since they are required for obtaining accurate C6H- level populations and line emission for regions that contain anions.



Research Center/Lab(s)

Center for High Performance Computing Research

Keywords and Phrases

Molecular Data; Molecular Processes; Scattering; ISM: Molecules

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version

Final Version

File Type





© 2017 Walker, Kyle M. and Lique, François and Dumouchel, Fabien and Dawes, Richard, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Apr 2017