Characterization by HPLC-HRMS of biological molecules in complex organic materials of interest for planetology by Cédric Wolters

The origin of the complex molecules that lead to life on Earth is discussed around two different hypotheses : an exogenic source with comets and asteroids and an endogenic source with atmospheric hazes. The organic matter present in comets and asteroids formed very early in the history of the Solar System and subsequently evolved chemically by irradiation and by aqueous and thermal alteration. Atmospheric hazes are formed locally by the host star irradiation of the atmosphere. This process is particularly studied for Super-Earth and Mini-Neptune planets, best target hypothesis to find life, in order to constrain some atmospheric composition parameters to reduce the list of possible life-hosting candidates for future observations with new instruments facilities. This topic has strong links with the CDP Origin of Life.
This project couples the analysis of both kinds of astrophysical laboratory simulations in order to establish a list of molecules and identify the diversity and specificity of the samples from the points of view of biochemical molecules. To achieve that goal, new analytical methods have been developed on the mass spectrometer coupled to a liquid chromatography instrument available at IPAG. A new software is also developed to treat this kind of data.
This presentation will treat on a first part the methodology part, from the instrument acquisition perspective to new home-made data treatment software. Then, some preliminary results will be discussed and some insights and scientific results of this work will be presented.