Laboratory rotational spectroscopy of the magnesium-carbon chains MgC4H and MgC3N

P. Bryan Changala, Nadav Genossar-Dan, Joshua H. Baraban, Michael C. McCarthy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recent advances in circumstellar metal chemistry and laser-coolable molecules have spurred interest in the spectroscopy and electronic properties of alkaline earth metal-bearing polyatomic molecules. We report the microwave rotational spectra of two members of this important chemical family, the linear magnesium-carbon chains MgC4H and MgC3N, detected with cavity Fourier transform microwave spectroscopy of a laser ablation-electric discharge expansion. The rotation, fine, and hyperfine parameters have been derived from the precise laboratory rest frequencies. These experimental results, combined with a theoretical quantum chemical analysis, confirm the recent identification of MgC4H and MgC3N in the circumstellar envelope of the evolved carbon-rich star IRC+10216. The spectroscopic data also provide insight into the structural and electronic properties that influence the metal-based optical cycling center in this unique class of laser-coolable polyatomics.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number111904
JournalJournal of Molecular Spectroscopy
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2024


  • Astrochemistry
  • Laser-coolable molecules
  • Metal-ligand molecules
  • Rotational spectroscopy

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Spectroscopy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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