Crystallization of Small Organic Molecules in a Polymer Matrix: Multistep Mechanism Enables Structural Control

Ilya Bronshtein, Haim Weissman, Ifat Kaplan-Ashiri, Boris Rybtchinski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

The widely employed crystallization of organic molecules in solution is not well understood and is difficult to control. Employing polymers as crystallization media may allow enhanced control via temperature-induced regulation of polymer dynamics. Crystallization of a small organic molecule (perylene diimide) is investigated in polymer matrices (polystyrene) that enable the mechanistic study and control over order evolution. The crystallization is induced by heating above the glass transition temperature of the polymer, and quenched by cooling, leading to stabilization of crystallization intermediates. The mechanistic studies include direct imaging by electron microscopy, revealing a complex self-assembly process starting from amorphous aggregates that densify and transform into an unstable crystalline phase of N, N′-bis(2,6-dimethylphenyl)perylene-3,4,9,10-tetracarboxylic diimide (DMP-PDI), followed by a conversion into a more stable crystalline form. Stabilization of crystallization intermediates at room temperature provides diverse structures based on a single molecular component. These findings have implications for the rational design of organic crystalline materials.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1902936
JournalSmall
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019

Fingerprint

Crystallization
Polymer matrix
Polymers
Molecules
Perylene
Crystalline materials
Stabilization
Temperature
Transition Temperature
Polystyrenes
Heating
Self assembly
Electron microscopy
Glass
Electron Microscopy
Cooling
Imaging techniques

Keywords

  • hybrid materials
  • organic crystals
  • perylene diimides
  • polymer matrices

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biomaterials
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)

Cite this

Crystallization of Small Organic Molecules in a Polymer Matrix : Multistep Mechanism Enables Structural Control. / Bronshtein, Ilya; Weissman, Haim; Kaplan-Ashiri, Ifat; Rybtchinski, Boris.

In: Small, 01.01.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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