An unbiased ALMA spectral survey of the LkCa 15 and MWC 480 protoplanetary disks

Ryan A. Loomis*, Karin I. Öberg, Sean M. Andrews, Edwin Bergin, Jennifer Bergner, Geoffrey A. Blake, L. Ilsedore Cleeves, Ian Czekala, Jane Huang, Romane Le Gal, Francois Ménard, Jamila Pegues, Chunhua Qi, Catherine Walsh, Jonathan P. Williams, David J. Wilner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


The volatile contents of protoplanetary disks both set the potential for planetary chemistry and provide valuable probes of defining disk system characteristics such as stellar mass, gas mass, ionization, and temperature structure. Current disk molecular inventories are fragmented, however, giving an incomplete picture: unbiased spectral line surveys are needed to assess the volatile content. We present here an overview of such a survey of the protoplanetary disks around the Herbig Ae star MWC 480 and the T Tauri star LkCa 15 in ALMA Band 7, spanning ∼36 GHz from 275 to 317 GHz and representing an order of magnitude increase in sensitivity over previous single-dish surveys. We detect 14 molecular species (including isotopologues), with five species (C34S, 13CS, H2CS, DNC, and C2D) detected for the first time in protoplanetary disks. Significant differences are observed in the molecular inventories of MWC 480 and LkCa 15, and we discuss how these results may be interpreted in light of the different physical conditions of these two disk systems.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101
Number of pages15
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 20 Apr 2020


  • Protoplanetary disks
  • Astrochemistry


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