Contribution Contributed Talk
Exploring Molecular Complexity with ALMA: results of the EMoCA survey
The search for complex organic molecules (COMs) in the interstellar medium (ISM) has revealed chemical species of ever greater complexity, in particular thanks to observations of the star-forming molecular cloud core Sgr B2(N). It relies heavily on the work done in the laboratory to record and characterize the spectra of these molecules. I will present results of the EMoCA survey conducted toward Sgr B2(N) with ALMA in its Cycles 0 and 1. This spectral line survey aims at deciphering the molecular content of Sgr B2(N) in order to test the predictions of astrochemical numerical simulations and gain insight into the chemical processes at work in the ISM. I will in particular report on deuterated complex organic molecules and on the first detection of a branched alkyl molecule in the ISM. The latter detection has unveiled a new domain in the structures available to the chemistry of star-forming regions and established a further connection to the COMs found in meteorites. This detection calls for new laboratory experiments to deepen our understanding of the formation and role of branched molecules in the ISM.