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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.

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