Graphene additives show a new way to control the structure of organic crystals

A team of researchers at The University of Manchester has demonstrated that the surface properties of graphene can be used to control the structure of organic crystals obtained from solution.

Organic crystal structures can be found in a large number of products, such as food, explosives, colour pigments and pharmaceuticals. However, organic crystals can come in different structures, called polymorphs: each of these forms has very different physical and chemical properties, despite having the same chemical composition.

To make a comparison, diamond and graphite are polymorphs because they are composed both by carbon atoms, but they have very different properties because the atoms are bonded to form different structures. The same concept can be extended to organic molecules, when interacting between each other to form crystals. Read more