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From 2D to 3D Crystals

A Multi-Scale, Multi-Technique and Multi-System Approach of the Crystallization of Organic Molecules

The occurrence of two or more crystal structures for a given molecule, a phenomenon which is called polymorphism, is ubiquitous to various classes of synthetic and natural compounds. Examples of polymorphism are known in numerous application fields, such as food, explosives, pigments, semiconductors, fertilizers, and pharmaceutical drugs. Different crystal structures, so-called polymorphs, of the same compound exhibit sometimes very different physical properties, chemical reactivity, and biological functions. For instance, the polymorphs might differ in solubility ruining the pharmaceutical effect of one or more of the polymorphs. Understanding and controlling polymorphism is therefore very important. Simple questions, such as "How many polymorphs has a given compound?" or "What drives polymorph selection?", remain unanswered yet. In this scientific context, scientists have started to explore the occurrence of substrate-induced polymorphism, i.e. the formation of polymorphs that exist only in the vicinity of solid substrates. In particular, 2Dto3D has the ambition to elucidate how positional and orientational order of molecules propagate from the substrate to the upper crystal layers. In this manner, 2Dto3D will gain a fundamental understanding of polymorphism at the interface with solid substrates.

The Network


Steven De Feyter


Division of Molecular Imaging & Photonics,

Department of Chemistry,

KU Leuven-University of Leuven,

Celestijnenlaan 200F,

Leuven, Belgium-3001


Sandra Van Aert

Electron Microscopy for Materials Science (EMAT), University of Antwerp, Gronenborgerlaan 171,

Antwerp, Belgium-2020


Yves Geerts

Laboratory of Polymer Chemistry,

Faculty of Science,

Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB),

CP206 / 1, Boulevard du Triomphe, 1050 Brussels, Belgium

Roland Resel

Institute of Solid State Physics, Graz University of Technology, A-8010 Graz, Austria


Roberto Lazzaroni

Laboratory for Chemistry of Novel Materials,

University of Mons,

Place du Parc 20, 7000 Mons, Belgium

Klaus Mullen.jpg

Klaus Müllen

Max Planck Institute for polymer Research, Ackermannweg 10, D-55128 Mainz, Germany

Latest News

Fifth progress meeting (online)

            November 19, 2020                                        

The 2Dto3D team met online on November 19, 2020 to discuss the ongoing projects.


The 2Dto3D team met online on April 30, 2020 to discuss the ongoing projects.


Fourth progress meeting (online)

            April 30, 2020      

The EOS team met in Antwerp to discuss progress on various ongoing projects                                               More

Third progress meeting at University of Antwerp

November 28, 2019

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