Astrochemistry and astrobiology, the fascinating disciplines that strive to unravel the origin of life, have opened unprecedented and unpredicted vistas into exotic compounds as well as extreme or complex reaction conditions of potential relevance for a broad variety of applications. Representative, and so far little explored sources of inspiration include complex organic systems, such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and their derivatives; hydrogen cyanide (HCN) and formamide (HCONH2
) oligomers and polymers, like aminomalononitrile (AMN)-derived species; and exotic processes, such as solid-state photoreactions on mineral surfaces, phosphorylation by minerals, cold ice irradiation and proton bombardment, and thermal transformations in fumaroles. In addition, meteorites and minerals like forsterite, which dominate dust chemistry in the interstellar medium, may open new avenues for the discovery of innovative catalytic processes and unconventional methodologies. The aim of this review was to offer concise and inspiring, rather than comprehensive, examples of astrochemistry-related materials and systems that may be of relevance in areas such as surface functionalization, nanostructures, and hybrid material design, and for innovative technological solutions. The potential of computational methods to predict new properties from spectroscopic data and to assess plausible reaction pathways on both kinetic and thermodynamic grounds has also been highlighted.
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