For many years, our group has been investigating the VUV spectroscopy and photochemistry
of molecules of astrophysical (Jochims et al. 2006a,b; Leach et al. 2008; Schwell et al. 2012) and prebiotic interest (Schwell et al. 2006). Polyynes and cyano-polyynes that are abundant in
the interstellar medium (ISM) and in planetary atmospheres, have been investigated too
(e.g. Fray et al. 2010). An aerosol source for reactive and thermo-labile compounds has been
developed (Gaie-Levrel et al. 2011)
to perform gas-phase measurements. These are necessary to measure intrinsic molecular
properties and to compare to quantum chemical calculations. Besides measuring absolute
absorption and photoionization cross sections, dissociative channels and their involved
excited states are identified for a number of molecules of interstellar interest.
Branching ratios of the respective elementary photoreactions are determined in order to
understand and model the photochemistry occurring in the ISM. Some very recent results on
the dissociative photoionization of methylformate (MF), glycolaldehyde (GA), dimethylether
(DIM), aminoacetonitrile (AAC) and cyanoacetylene (CA), are presented here.