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Crystal Engineering

How molecules build solids
Jeffrey H Williams


There are more than 20 million chemicals in the literature, with new materials being synthesized each week. Most of these molecules are stable, and the three-dimensional arrangement of the atoms in the molecules, in the various solids may be determined by routine X-ray crystallography. When this is done, it is found that this vast range of molecules, with varying sizes and shapes can be accommodated by only a handful of solid structures. This limited number of architectures for the packing of molecules of all shapes and sizes, to maximize attractive intermolecular forces and minimizing repulsive intermolecular forces, allows us to develop simple models of what holds the molecules together in the solid. In this volume we look at the origin of the molecular architecture of crystals; a topic that is becoming increasingly important and is often termed, crystal engineering. Such studies are a means of predicting crystal structures, and of designing crystals with particular properties by manipulating the structure and interaction of large molecules. That is, creating new crystal architectures with desired physical characteristics in which the molecules pack together in particular architectures; a subject of particular interest to the pharmaceutical industry.

About Editors

Jeffrey H Williams was head of publications at the Bureau International des Poids et Measures (BIPM) from 2003–2008. He received his PhD in chemical physics from Cambridge in 1981 and published more than 60 technical papers until leaving research in 1992 to join the world of science publishing. At BIPM, he was the editor of the journal Metrologia, the leading technical publication for research on all matters related to weights and measures. He is the author of two other IOP ebooks, Order from Force and Defining and Measuring Nature.

Table of Contents


Paperback ISBN: 9780750328753

Ebook ISBN: 9781681746265

DOI: 10.1088/978-1-6817-4625-8

Publisher: Morgan & Claypool Publishers


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