Diamond As The Catalyst

All living organisms are based on organic materials, i.e. carbon containing molecules. Moreover, most carbon atoms are diamondlike with covalent bonds of tetrahedral (sp3) configuration. Since carbon is the fourth abundant elements in the universe, nanodia-mond particles can be commonplace. Gaseous carbon molecules (e.g. methane) may also be permeating in stellar dusts. The interaction of diamond and various types of gasses could form building blocks of biological materials. For example, amino acids could be triggered by integrating methane (CH4), water (H2O), carbon dioxide (CO2), and ammonia (NH3). Scientist have long established that certain reducing gasses could react to form amino acids at high temperature, for example, when they were heated by lightning.

In addition to be omnipresent, diamond's bonding structure can be highly flexible. Carbon is the only element that can form linear organic (sp1), planar metallic (sp2), and solid ceramic (sp3) bonds. Moreover, such bonds are highly stable due to the covalent nature of small carbon atoms. Hence, diversified carbon molecules can be very enduring. There are more organic (carbon containing) compounds than that formed by all other elements. The organic chemistry with its extension of biochemistry is the foundation of life science.

Nanodiamond formed in space contains a lot of defects; particularly it was shattered during the explosion of giant stars. The carbon atoms on the surface and along the vicinity of defects are graphitic that allows electrically conducting. Moreover, the

Figure 2.1. Diamond surface may be terminated to form semiconductor that can boost the current and heat the surface to cause chemical reactions of attached radicals.

H Termination O Termination

Figure 2.1. Diamond surface may be terminated to form semiconductor that can boost the current and heat the surface to cause chemical reactions of attached radicals.

diamond surface terminated by hydrogen is P-type semiconductor; and by oxygen, N-type semiconductor. These semiconductors may concentrate electrical charge like capacitors. The stored electrons can avalanche to heat diamond surface. Due to the prevailing presence of nanodiamond with surfaces attached with various elements, the biochemical reactions triggered by capacitive discharge must be active.

If the hydrogen terminated carbon layers are joined by oxygen terminated one,5 the composite film can be amphibious with both the hydrophobic hydrogen face and hydrophilic oxygen face (Fig. 2.1). This may become the precursor to derive a membrane that can regulate water to flow from one side toward the other, but not the reverse. Such a membrane is required to hide gene inside a cell (e.g. cellular boundaries made of phospholipid).

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