The unidentified interstellar infrared bands: PAHs as carriers?

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Science  16 Sep 1994:
Vol. 265, Issue 5179, pp. 1686-1689
DOI: 10.1126/science.11539830


Infrared emission spectra of gas-phase naphthalene and pyrene have been measured in the range of 3 to 7.5 micrometers with ultraviolet laser desorption-excitation and a spectroscopic technique featuring single-photon counting in the infrared. The spectra were compared with the unidentified infrared emission bands that are observed in many astronomical objects. Marked discrepancies between those observations and the laboratory emission spectra in the wavelengths and relative intensities of principal spectral features led to the conclusion that small neutral unsubstituted polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons cannot be the carriers of the unidentified infrared emission bands.