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Formamide Adsorption at the Amorphous Silica Surface: A Combined Experimental and Computational Approach

1
Dipartimento di Chimica and NIS, Università di Torino, Via P. Giuria 7 — 10125 Torino and Via G. Quarello 15/A — 10135 Torino, Italy
2
Departament de Química, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra, Catalogna, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 10 September 2018 / Revised: 19 September 2018 / Accepted: 20 September 2018 / Published: 23 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Minerals and Origins of Life)
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Abstract

Mineral surfaces have been demonstrated to play a central role in prebiotic reactions, which are understood to be at the basis of the origin of life. Among the various molecules proposed as precursors for these reactions, one of the most interesting is formamide. Formamide has been shown to be a pluripotent molecule, generating a wide distribution of relevant prebiotic products. In particular, the outcomes of its reactivity are strongly related to the presence of mineral phases acting as catalysts toward specific reaction pathways. While the mineral–products relationship has been deeply studied for a large pool of materials, the fundamental description of formamide reactivity over mineral surfaces at a microscopic level is missing in the literature. In particular, a key step of formamide chemistry at surfaces is adsorption on available interaction sites. This report aims to investigate the adsorption of formamide over a well-defined amorphous silica, chosen as a model mineral surface. An experimental IR investigation of formamide adsorption was carried out and its outcomes were interpreted on the basis of first principles simulation of the process, adopting a realistic model of amorphous silica. View Full-Text
Keywords: formamide; silica; IR spectroscopy; DFT formamide; silica; IR spectroscopy; DFT
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Signorile, M.; Salvini, C.; Zamirri, L.; Bonino, F.; Martra, G.; Sodupe, M.; Ugliengo, P. Formamide Adsorption at the Amorphous Silica Surface: A Combined Experimental and Computational Approach. Life 2018, 8, 42.

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