Chirality transfer from a 3D macro shape to the molecular level by controlling asymmetric secondary flows

S. Sevim, A. Sorrenti, J. Pedro Vale, Z. El-Hachemi, S. Pané, A. D. Flouris, T. Sotto Mayor, J. Puigmartí-Luis
Homochirality is a fundamental feature of living systems, and its origin is still an unsolved mystery. Previous investigations showed that external physical forces can bias a spontaneous symmetry breaking process towards deterministic enantioselection. But can the macroscopic shape of a reactor play a role in chiral symmetry breaking processes? Here we show an example of chirality transfer from the chiral shape of a 3D helical channel to the chirality of supramolecular aggregates, with the
more » ... dness of the helical channel dictating the direction of enantioselection in the assembly of an achiral molecule. By combining numerical simulations of fluid flow and mass transport with experimental data, we demonstrated that the chiral information is transferred top-down thanks to the interplay between the hydrodynamics of asymmetric secondary flows and the precise spatiotemporal control of reagent concentration fronts. This result shows the possibility of controlling enantioselectively molecular processes at the nanometer scale by modulating the geometry and the operating conditions of fluidic reactors.
doi:10.6084/m9.figshare.22133405.v1 fatcat:zile4yrqzngutbjtqmywmenvqa