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Synergistic Assembly of Charged Oligomers and Amino Acids at the Air–Water Interface: An Avenue toward Surface-Directed CO2 Capture

Publication Type
Journal Name
ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
Publication Date
Page Numbers
12052 to 12061

Interfaces are considered a major bottleneck in the capture of CO2 from air. Efforts to design surfaces to enhance CO2 capture probabilities are challenging due to the remarkably poor understanding of chemistry and self-assembly taking place at these interfaces. Here, we leverage surface-specific vibrational spectroscopy, Langmuir trough techniques, and simulations to mechanistically elucidate how cationic oligomers can drive surface localization of amino acids (AAs) that serve as CO2 capture agents speeding up the apparent rate of absorption. We demonstrate how tuning these interfaces provides a means to facilitate CO2 capture chemistry to occur at the interface, while lowering surface tension and improving transport/reaction probabilities. We show that in the presence of interfacial AA-rich aggregates, one can improve capture probabilities vs that of a bare interface, which holds promise in addressing climate change through the removal of CO2 via tailored interfaces and associated chemistries.