Unusually Large Young's Moduli of Amino Acid Molecular Crystals

Igor Lubomirsky, Ido Azuri, Elena Meirzadeh, David Ehre, Sidney R. Cohen, Andrew M. Rappe, Meir Lahav, Leeor Kronik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


Young's moduli of selected amino acid molecular crystals were studied both experimentally and computationally using nanoindentation and dispersion-corrected density functional theory. The Young modulus is found to be strongly facet-dependent, with some facets exhibiting exceptionally high values (as large as 44 GPa). The magnitude of Young's modulus is strongly correlated with the relative orientation between the underlying hydrogen-bonding network and the measured facet. Furthermore, we show computationally that the Young modulus can be as large as 70-90 GPa if facets perpendicular to the primary direction of the hydrogen-bonding network can be stabilized. This value is remarkably high for a molecular solid and suggests the design of hydrogen-bond networks as a route for rational design of ultra-stiff molecular solids.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13566-13570
Number of pages5
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Issue number46
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2015


  • Young's modulus
  • amino acids
  • crystallography
  • density functional calculations
  • mechanical properties

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)

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