Introductory Lecture: Mechanochemistry, a versatile synthesis strategy for new materials
Mechanochemistry deals with reactions induced by the input of mechanical energy – for example by impacts within a vibratory ball mill. The technique has a long history with significant contributions from Ostwald, Carey Lea and, notably, Faraday. Mechanochemistry has subsequently seen application in a variety of areas of materials science including mechanical alloying in metallurgy, the synthesis of complex organic molecules and, more recently, the discovery and development of new solid forms of active pharmaceutical ingredients. This paper overviews the broad areas of application of mechanochemistry, some key features which make it a particularly attractive approach to materials synthesis and some mechanistic aspects highlighted within the literature. A significant part, however, will focus on recent applications in the area of pharmaceuticals and its important role in exploring the rich variety of solid forms available for small, drug-like, molecules.