Chirality-induced avalanche magnetization of magnetite by an RNA precursor

S. Furkan Ozturk*, Deb Kumar Bhowmick, Yael Kapon, Yutao Sang, Anil Kumar, Yossi Paltiel, Ron Naaman, Dimitar D. Sasselov

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Homochirality is a hallmark of life on Earth. To achieve and maintain homochirality within a prebiotic network, the presence of an environmental factor acting as a chiral agent and providing a persistent chiral bias to prebiotic chemistry is highly advantageous. Magnetized surfaces are prebiotically plausible chiral agents due to the chiral-induced spin selectivity (CISS) effect, and they were utilized to attain homochiral ribose-aminooxazoline (RAO), an RNA precursor. However, natural magnetic minerals are typically weakly magnetized, necessitating mechanisms to enhance their magnetization for their use as effective chiral agents. Here, we report the magnetization of magnetic surfaces by crystallizing enantiopure RAO, whereby chiral molecules induce a uniform surface magnetization due to the CISS effect, which spreads across the magnetic surface akin to an avalanche. Chirality-induced avalanche magnetization enables a feedback between chiral molecules and magnetic surfaces, which can amplify a weak magnetization and allow for highly efficient spin-selective processes on magnetic minerals.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number6351
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2023

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