High-pressure and high-temperature study of amino acids by spectroscopy: Toward new insights for prebiotic chemical evolution

  • Supervisors (*corresponding): Masami Kanzaki*, Xianyu Xue
  • Number of students: up to 2

Amino acids are one of the basic ingredients of life forms, and are found in meteorites, in fossils, and in molecular clouds in space. In
the early Earth, amino acids were formed and evolved into polymerized products (peptides or proteins) in abiotic processes. One possible
such environment could be the interior of the Earth. In this project, the effect of pressure and temperature (P-T) on amino acid (e.g., L-, and DL-alanines) crystal stability and polymerization will be studied using both in-situ and quench high-P-T experiments with Raman and NMR spectroscpic techniques. We hope that this study will provide better understanding of high-P-T behaviors of amino acid crystals, and new insights for prebiotic chemical evolution and origin of homochirality.