Diamond As Synthesizer

Diamond has the tightest lattice of all solids. The surface of diamond lattice is full of dangling bonds. The bonding of foreign atoms with the dangling electrons on diamond's surface can force the alignment of different radicals, particularly those formed with light elements (e.g.) (Fig. 2.2).

Hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen are among the commonest gasses that could be anchored on the surface of nanodiamond. The gas-terminated nanodiamond could be floating around in space so it could be impinged frequently with other molecules. Due to the versatility of carbon bonding, nanodiamond could act as a catalyst to promote the formation of stable radicals, such as acidic

Figure 2.2. The dangling electrons on diamond's faces are capable to attach atoms of various elements' atoms to form specific patterns.

Figure 2.2. The dangling electrons on diamond's faces are capable to attach atoms of various elements' atoms to form specific patterns.

(-COOH), methyl (-CH3), amine (-NH2), hydroxyl (-OH) and others. Upon further heating, these radicals might assemble to form components of amino acids.

The ability of the carbon atoms to join in linear (polymeric), planar (graphitic) and tetrahedral (diamondoid) structures made methane or its derivative active reactants. Moreover, nanodia-monds were readily available as the mold for assembly. The heat required to trigger the chemical reaction may come from collisions of molecules or dusts. Consequently, diamond facilitated synthesis of amino acids in the proto universe could be inevitable and widespread.

Due to the presence of the vast amount of nanodiamond particles, amino acids could be synthesized and attached to the surface of some larger particles (Fig. 2.3). If the right sequence of amino acids was present, these molecules could combine and fold themselves into proteinoids, the component bits and pieces of protein (Fig. 2.4).

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