Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology


[CBE Seminar] Prof. Masahiko Hara (Tokyo Institute of Technology) Mar. 15, 10:00



생명화학공학과에서는 도쿄공업대학 Masahiko Hara 교수님을 모시고 아래와 같이 세미나를 개최하오니

많은 관심과 참여 부탁드립니다.


Please come and join the seminar. Find the details below.



 Speaker: Prof. Masahiko Hara (Tokyo Institute of Technology)


 Schedule: March 15(Fri), 2019 / 10:00


 Place: Seminar room 1 (#1101) @ W1-3 Bldg.

 Title: Nano-Spectroscopic Studies of Chemical Evolution at Interfaces – Ultimate Self-Assembly and Origins of Life –




The origin of life, though it remains a mystery, is believed to have been chemical reactions at

mineral surfaces on the earth during the Hadean period. Although there have been many

proposals and preliminary experiments on this topic, no definitive origin has been reported yet

because of a lack of nanoscopic studies. Herein, we present the first material surface observations

intended to elucidate the origin of life at the molecular level. These observations were made using

a combination of novel techniques, specifically, Raman spectroscopy and atomic force

microscopy (AFM). Pyrite (FeS2) is known to be one of the most common minerals that can

provide condensation and reaction surfaces for chemical evolution. However, this mineral has

mostly been studied from a crystallographic viewpoint or in bulk systems, and such investigations

cannot fully resolve the exact mechanisms of the specific interactions that occur on this mineral.

Moreover, no direct experimental evidence has been reported regarding pyrite initiating chemical

evolution at the nano-scale when it is used as a reaction surface. In this study, the quantitative

force analysis performed by using AFM, in which the residue of a single amino acid was mounted

on AFM tips, enabled us to locate the reaction sites and to study the interaction forces between

the amino acid and the pyrite surface. Our Raman spectroscopy and AFM results revealed for the

first time that defective areas, with the molecular composition FeS2-x, increase the adsorption

probabilities of amino acid residues in chemical reactions on the surface of pyrite.

Keyword: Nanotechnology, Scanning Probe Microscopy, Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM), Raman

Spectroscopy, Self-Assembly, Bio-Interface, Chemical Evolution, and Origins of Life.







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