The role of mineral surfaces in prebiotic chemistry

The aim of our studies is to understand the guidelines that govern molecular adsorption on surfaces, to control biomolecule/mineral interaction processes and to understand which conditions and chemical species were most favorable for the development of prebiotic chemistry and catalysis on mineral surfaces at the origin of Life. To this end, we study and characterize the adsorption processes and chemical reactivity of biomolecules on mineral surfaces, using advanced surface characterization techniques. In addition to studying the role of mineral surfaces in catalyzing the formation of prebiotic organic compounds, as a possible source of energy and catalysts in the early stages of the formation of complex organic molecules. To study, therefore, how surfaces can play a crucial role in catalyzing reactions of such simple molecules in prebiotic processes. These studies are carried out experimentally in the ultra-high vacuum system: spectroscopies and microscopies on surfaces (SMS) and in the simulation chamber for planetary atmospheres and surfaces (PASC), equipment located in the planetary simulation laboratory at CAB. These studies contribute to the understanding of molecular chemical reactivity and the role that minerals may have played in prebiotic chemistry and planetary exploration.

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