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Astrochemical Pathways to Complex Organic and Prebiotic Molecules: Experimental Perspectives for In Situ Solid-State Studies

1
Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica, Osservatorio Astronomico di Capodimonte, Salita Moiariello 16, 80131 Naples, Italy
2
Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Königstuhl 17, D-69117 Heidelberg, Germany
3
Laboratory Astrophysics Group of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Institute of Solid State Physics, Helmholtzweg 3, 07743 Jena, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Michele Fiore and Emiliano Altamura
Life 2021, 11(6), 568; https://doi.org/10.3390/life11060568
Received: 28 May 2021 / Revised: 11 June 2021 / Accepted: 14 June 2021 / Published: 17 June 2021
A deep understanding of the origin of life requires the physical, chemical, and biological study of prebiotic systems and the comprehension of the mechanisms underlying their evolutionary steps. In this context, great attention is paid to the class of interstellar molecules known as “Complex Organic Molecules” (COMs), considered as possible precursors of prebiotic species. Although COMs have already been detected in different astrophysical environments (such as interstellar clouds, protostars, and protoplanetary disks) and in comets, the physical–chemical mechanisms underlying their formation are not yet fully understood. In this framework, a unique contribution comes from laboratory experiments specifically designed to mimic the conditions found in space. We present a review of experimental studies on the formation and evolution of COMs in the solid state, i.e., within ices of astrophysical interest, devoting special attention to the in situ detection and analysis techniques commonly used in laboratory astrochemistry. We discuss their main strengths and weaknesses and provide a perspective view on novel techniques, which may help in overcoming the current experimental challenges. View Full-Text
Keywords: complex organic molecules; astrobiology; astrochemistry; interstellar medium; molecular ices; solid state; protoplanetary disks; star forming regions; comets complex organic molecules; astrobiology; astrochemistry; interstellar medium; molecular ices; solid state; protoplanetary disks; star forming regions; comets
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MDPI and ACS Style

Fulvio, D.; Potapov, A.; He, J.; Henning, T. Astrochemical Pathways to Complex Organic and Prebiotic Molecules: Experimental Perspectives for In Situ Solid-State Studies. Life 2021, 11, 568. https://doi.org/10.3390/life11060568

AMA Style

Fulvio D, Potapov A, He J, Henning T. Astrochemical Pathways to Complex Organic and Prebiotic Molecules: Experimental Perspectives for In Situ Solid-State Studies. Life. 2021; 11(6):568. https://doi.org/10.3390/life11060568

Chicago/Turabian Style

Fulvio, Daniele, Alexey Potapov, Jiao He, and Thomas Henning. 2021. "Astrochemical Pathways to Complex Organic and Prebiotic Molecules: Experimental Perspectives for In Situ Solid-State Studies" Life 11, no. 6: 568. https://doi.org/10.3390/life11060568

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