Chemistry in nanoconfined water†
Nanoconfined liquids have extremely different properties from the bulk, which profoundly affects chemical reactions taking place in nanosolvation. Here, we present extensive ab initio simulations of a vast set of chemical reactions within a water lamella that is nanoconfined by mineral surfaces, which might be relevant to prebiotic peptide formation in aqueous environments. Our results disclose a rich interplay of distinct effects, from steric factors typical of reactions occurring in small spaces to a charge-stabilization effect in nanoconfined water at extreme conditions similar to that observed in bulk water when changing from extreme to ambient conditions. These effects are found to modify significantly not only the energetics but also the mechanisms of reactions happening in nanoconfined water in comparison to the corresponding bulk regime.