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Chiral Symmetry Breaking in a Microscopic Model with Asymmetric Autocatalysis and Inhibition

Image courtesy Debenedetti Research Group

A simple lattice model of prochiral reactants, chiral products and inert solvent was formulated to study the kinetics of chiral symmetry breaking via asymmetric autocatalysis and inhibition, which have been proposed as key processes in the spontaneous emergence of chiral symmetry breaking in a prebiotic world. Spontaneous symmetry breaking occurs in spite of a chirally unbiased initial state and equal a priori probability for the production of either enantiomer. A representative snapshot of the kinetic Monte Carlo simulations is shown, where prochiral reactants (grey and dark grey molecules) diffuse on a two-dimensional lattice and react to form chiral products (red and blue enantiomers).

See the article "Chiral symmetry breaking in a microscopic model with asymmetric autocatalysis and inhibition", Hatch et. al., J. Chem. Phys., 133, 224502, 2010.

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