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Issue 45, 2011
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Predictability of the polymorphs of small organic compounds: Crystal structure predictions of four benchmark blind test molecules

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Abstract

Predicting the crystal structure of an organic molecule from first principles has been a major challenge in physical chemistry. Recently, the application of Density Functional Theory including a dispersive energy correction (the DFT(d) method) has been shown to be a reliable method for predicting experimental structures based purely on their ranking according to lattice energy. Further validation results of the application of the DFT(d) method to four organic molecules are presented here. The compounds were targets (labelled molecule II, VI, VII and XI) in previous blind tests of crystal structure prediction, and their structures proved difficult to predict. However, this study shows that the DFT(d) approach is capable of predicting the solid state structures of these small molecules. For molecule VII, the most stable (rank 1) predicted crystal structure corresponds to the experimentally observed structure. For molecule VI, the rank 1, 2 and 3 predicted structures correspond to the three experimental polymorphs, forms I, III and II, respectively. For molecules II and XI, their rank 1 predicted structures are energetically more stable than those corresponding to the experimental crystal structures, and were not found amongst the structures submitted by the participants in the blind tests. The rank 1 structure of molecule II is predicted to exist under high pressure, whilst the rank 1 structure predicted for molecule XI has the same space group and hydrogen bonding pattern as observed in the crystal of 1-amino-1-methyl-cyclopropane, which is structurally related to molecule XI. The experimental crystal structure of molecule II corresponds to the rank 4 prediction, 0.8 kJ mol−1 above the global minimum structure, and the experimental structure of molecule XI corresponds to the rank 2 prediction, 0.4 kJ mol−1 above the global minimum.

Graphical abstract: Predictability of the polymorphs of small organic compounds: Crystal structure predictions of four benchmark blind test molecules

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Publication details

The article was received on 01 Jul 2011, accepted on 15 Sep 2011 and first published on 13 Oct 2011


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C1CP22169H
Citation: Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2011,13, 20361-20370
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    Predictability of the polymorphs of small organic compounds: Crystal structure predictions of four benchmark blind test molecules

    H. C. S. Chan, J. Kendrick and F. J. J. Leusen, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2011, 13, 20361
    DOI: 10.1039/C1CP22169H

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