The missing conformer : A comprehensive rotational spectroscopy study and astronomical search of two conformers of methyl cyanoacetate

We performed a comprehensive investigation of methyl cyanoacetate (MCA)
using high-resolution Fourier transform rotational spectroscopy. Two low
energy conformers of MCA were observed in the vibrational ground state, in
selected frequency regions from 2 to 110 GHz. We report accurately
determined line lists, rotational constants, centrifugal distortion constants,
and nuclear quadrupole coupling constants for both conformers, as well as
for several singly substituted heavy-atom isotopologues. One of the
conformers was previously reported; however, the rotational transitions of
the second conformer, which is newly described here, are observed to be
generally more intense than the latter. The accurate predictions of rotational
transitions into the millimeter-wave region can facilitate the detection of these
conformers of MCA in the interstellar medium. Using the rotational
spectroscopy data provided here, we searched for the two conformers of
MCA in a deep and unbiased spectral survey of the molecular cloud G+0.693-
0.027 located in the Galactic Center. None of the MCA conformers were
detected. The upper limits for their abundances were derived with respect
to the abundance of molecular hydrogen.


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