Plasma Modeling and Prebiotic Chemistry: A Review of the State-of-the-Art and Perspectives

G.M. Longo*, L. Vialetto, P. Diomede, S. Longo*, V. Laporta

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal(Systematic) Review article peer-review

Abstract

We review the recent progress in the modeling of plasmas or ionized gases, with compositions compatible with that of primordial atmospheres. The plasma kinetics involves elementary processes by which free electrons ultimately activate weakly reactive molecules, such as carbon dioxide or methane, thereby potentially starting prebiotic reaction chains. These processes include electron-molecule reactions and energy exchanges between molecules. They are basic processes, for example, in the famous Miller-Urey experiment, and become relevant in any prebiotic scenario where the primordial atmosphere is significantly ionized by electrical activity, photoionization or meteor phenomena. The kinetics of plasma displays remarkable complexity due to the non-equilibrium features of the energy distributions involved. In particular, we argue that two concepts developed by the plasma modeling community, the electron velocity distribution function and the vibrational distribution function, may unlock much new information and provide insight into prebiotic processes initiated by electron-molecule collisions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3663
Number of pages17
JournalMolecules
Volume26
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2021

Keywords

  • Miller-Urey experiment
  • prebiotic chemistry
  • plasma kinetics
  • electrons prebiotic molecules
  • CROSS-SECTIONS
  • ELECTRON-TRANSPORT
  • BOLTZMANN-EQUATION
  • ORGANIC-SYNTHESIS
  • MILLER-UREY
  • GAS-PHASE
  • NONEQUILIBRIUM
  • DISCHARGE
  • ORIGIN
  • SIMULATION

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Plasma Modeling and Prebiotic Chemistry: A Review of the State-of-the-Art and Perspectives'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this