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Title: Enantiomeric excesses induced in amino acids by ultraviolet circularly polarized light irradiation of extraterrestrial ice analogs: A possible source of asymmetry for prebiotic chemistry

The discovery of meteoritic amino acids with enantiomeric excesses of the L-form (ee {sub L}) has suggested that extraterrestrial organic materials may have contributed to prebiotic chemistry and directed the initial occurrence of the ee {sub L} that further led to homochirality of amino acids on Earth. A proposed mechanism for the origin of ee {sub L} in meteorites involves an asymmetric photochemistry of extraterrestrial ices by UV circularly polarized light (CPL). We have performed the asymmetric synthesis of amino acids on achiral extraterrestrial ice analogs by VUV CPL, investigating the chiral asymmetry transfer at two different evolutionary stages at which the analogs were irradiated (regular ices and/or organic residues) and at two different photon energies (6.6 and 10.2 eV). We identify 16 distinct amino acids and precisely measure the L-enantiomeric excesses using the enantioselective GC × GC-TOFMS technique in five of them: α-alanine, 2,3-diaminopropionic acid, 2-aminobutyric acid, valine, and norvaline, with values ranging from ee {sub L} = –0.20% ± 0.14% to ee {sub L} = –2.54% ± 0.28%. The sign of the induced ee {sub L} depends on the helicity and the energy of CPL, but not on the evolutionary stage of the samples, and is the samemore » for all five considered amino acids. Our results support an astrophysical scenario in which the solar system was formed in a high-mass star-forming region where icy grains were irradiated during the protoplanetary phase by an external source of CPL of a given helicity and a dominant energy, inducing a stereo-specific photochemistry.« less
Authors:
; ;  [1] ; ;  [2] ;  [3]
  1. Univ. Paris-Sud, Institut d'Astrophysique Spatiale, UMR 8617, F-91405 Orsay (France)
  2. Univ. Nice Sophia Antipolis, Institut de Chimie de Nice, UMR 7272 CNRS, F-06108 Nice (France)
  3. Synchrotron SOLEIL, F-91192 Gif-sur-Yvette (France)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22356640
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 788; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ALANINES; AMINOBUTYRIC ACID; ASTROPHYSICS; ASYMMETRY; FAR ULTRAVIOLET RADIATION; ICE; IRRADIATION; MASS; METEORITES; METEOROIDS; ORGANIC MATTER; PHOTOCHEMISTRY; PHOTONS; POLARIZATION; PROTOPLANETS; SOLAR SYSTEM; STARS; VALINE; VISIBLE RADIATION