Jan 5, 2008

A detailed study of the amino acids produced from the vacuum UV irradiation of interstellar ice analogs

Origins of Life and Evolution of the Biosphere : the Journal of the International Society for the Study of the Origin of Life
Michel NuevoLouis Le Sergeant d'Hendecourt


We present a detailed analysis of the variety, quantity and distribution of the amino acids detected in organic residues after acid hydrolysis. Such organic residues are produced in the laboratory after the vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) irradiation of several astrophysically relevant ice mixtures containing H(2)O, CO, CO(2), CH(3)OH, CH(4) and NH(3) at low temperature (10-80 K), and subsequent warm-up to room temperature. We explore five experimental parameters: the irradiation time, the temperature, the ice mixture composition, the photon dose per molecule and the substrate for the ice deposition. The amino acids were detected and identified by ex-situ liquid chromatography analysis of the organic residues formed after warming the photolysed ices up to room temperature. This study shows that in all experiments amino acids are formed. Their total quantities and distribution depend slightly on the experimental parameters explored in the present work, the important requirement to form such molecules being that the starting ice mixtures must contain the four elements C, H, O and N. We also discuss the effects of the chemical treatment needed to detect and identify the amino acids in the organic residues. Finally, these results are comp...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Amino Acids, I.V. solution additive
Sodium Methoxide
Carbon Compounds, Inorganic
Space (Astronomy)
Analogs & derivatives
Amino Acid [EPC]
Liquid Chromatography

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