Floating patches of HCN at the surface of their aqueous solutions - Can they make "hCN World" plausible?

Balázs Fábián, Milán Szöri, P. Jedlovszky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The liquid/vapor interface of the aqueous solutions of HCN of different concentrations has been investigated using molecular dynamics simulation and intrinsic surface analysis. Although HCN is fully miscible with water, strong interfacial adsorption of HCN is observed at the surface of its aqueous solutions, and, at the liquid surface, the HCN molecules tend to be located even at the outer edge of the surface layer. It turns out that in dilute systems the HCN concentration can be about an order of magnitude larger in the surface layer than in the bulk liquid phase. Furthermore, HCN molecules show a strong lateral self-association behavior at the liquid surface, forming thus floating HCN patches at the surface of their aqueous solutions. Moreover, HCN molecules are staying, on average, an order of magnitude longer at the liquid surface than water molecules, and this behavior is more pronounced at smaller HCN concentrations. Because of this enhanced dynamical stability, the floating HCN patches can provide excellent spots for polymerization of HCN, which can be the key step in the prebiotic synthesis of partially water-soluble adenine. All of these findings make the hypothesis of "HCN world" more plausible.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21469-21482
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Volume118
Issue number37
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 18 2014

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floating
liquid surfaces
aqueous solutions
Liquids
molecules
surface layers
Molecules
liquid-vapor interfaces
adenines
surface water
water
Prebiotics
liquid phases
polymerization
Water
Surface analysis
Adenine
molecular dynamics
Surface waters
adsorption

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Energy(all)

Cite this

Floating patches of HCN at the surface of their aqueous solutions - Can they make "hCN World" plausible? / Fábián, Balázs; Szöri, Milán; Jedlovszky, P.

In: Journal of Physical Chemistry C, Vol. 118, No. 37, 18.09.2014, p. 21469-21482.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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