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Ultraviolet Irradiation on a Pyrite Surface Improves Triglycine Adsorption

Centro de Astrobiología (CSIC-INTA), Ctra. Ajalvir, Km. 4, 28850 Torrejón de Ardoz, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 July 2018 / Revised: 9 October 2018 / Accepted: 9 October 2018 / Published: 25 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Minerals and Origins of Life)
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We characterized the adsorption of triglycine molecules on a pyrite surface under several simulated environmental conditions by X-ray photoemission spectroscopy. The triglycine molecular adsorption on a pyrite surface under vacuum conditions (absence of oxygen) shows the presence of two different states for the amine functional group (NH2 and NH3+), therefore two chemical species (anionic and zwitterionic). On the other hand, molecular adsorption from a solution discriminates the NH2 as a unique molecular adsorption form, however, the amount adsorbed in this case is higher than under vacuum conditions. Furthermore, molecular adsorption on the mineral surface is even favored if the pyrite surface has been irradiated before the molecular adsorption occurs. Pyrite surface chemistry is highly sensitive to the chemical changes induced by UV irradiation, as XPS analysis shows the presence of Fe2O3 and Fe2SO4—like environments on the surface. Surface chemical changes induced by UV help to increase the probability of adsorption of molecular species and their subsequent concentration on the pyrite surface. View Full-Text
Keywords: pyrite; triglycine; XPS; peptide; sulfide mineral; UV; surface; adsorption; prebiotic chemistry pyrite; triglycine; XPS; peptide; sulfide mineral; UV; surface; adsorption; prebiotic chemistry

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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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Galvez-Martinez, S.; Mateo-Marti, E. Ultraviolet Irradiation on a Pyrite Surface Improves Triglycine Adsorption. Life 2018, 8, 50.

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