Photochemistry and photophysics of prebiotically relevant systems

Mikołaj Janicki and Robert Góra

One of the key factors that influenced the abiogenesis and evolution of first living organisms, was the UV radiation. The first living organisms would be based on π-electronic macromolecules, susceptible to UV radiation induced damage that reached these molecules unattenuated by cell structures. These macromolecules probably would not have had the UV repair mechanisms present in contemporary living organisms. Thus, UV radiation was an important selective factor, and an efficient energy source, driving the early stages of abiogenesis. In our studies we investigate photostability of molecules relevant to prebiotic chemistry and mechanisms of photochemically induced chemical reactions relevant to prebiotic chemistry.

To give a for instance, the results of our calculations provided rationale to explain the mechanism of a very efficient photoanomerization.