Chiroptical activity of gas-phase propylene oxide predicting the handedness of interstellar circular polarization in the presolar nebulaOPEN ACCESS 

Adrien D. Garcia, Jérémie Topin, Jana Bocková, Nykola C. Jones, Søren V. Hoffmann, and Cornelia Meinert

Science Advances, 18 Nov 2022, Vol 8, Issue 46


“Propylene oxide, the first chiral molecule recently detected in the interstellar medium, has once again raised the question whether biomolecular chirality might have cosmic origins. However, accurate chiroptical properties of propylene oxide in the ultraviolet spectral range necessary to suggest possible asymmetric synthetic routes in the gas phase are scarce. Here, we report on the first experimental measurements of the anisotropy spectra of gas-phase propylene oxide in the vacuum ultraviolet spectral range. Our experimental results provide novel insights into the handedness of interstellar circular polarization at the dawn of molecular evolution of our star- and planet-forming region. Besides the fundamental importance of this new investigation for understanding the origin and evolution of homochirality on Earth, our high-resolution experimental electronic circular dichroism data will inspire new efforts in quantum computational spectroscopy.”