Skip to main content

A laboratory study of astronomically relevant large polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (GRAND-PAHs)

Project description

From carbon circles to carbon backbones, exploring the molecular diversity of our cosmos

Large polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) molecules, the most abundant complex molecules in the interstellar medium (ISM), are an important carrier of carbon. How they are formed and subsequently what other molecules arise from them are important questions relevant to the evolution of our universe and the formation of life. Recent evidence suggests that fullerenes, spherical molecules of pure carbon made from 60 or 70 carbon atoms, may form from photochemical processing of PAHs in the ISM. Here on Earth, PAHs form the building blocks of many other important organic molecules. The EU-funded GRAND-PAHs project will employ advanced experimental techniques in the laboratory to study the ionisation and fragmentation of PAHs. They could provide insight into the role of PAHs in the molecular diversity of the ISM and of life itself.

Call for proposal

See other projects for this call


Rapenburg 70
2311 EZ Leiden
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 175 572,48