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Issue 15, 2019
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Anisotropic strain release in a thermosalient crystal: correlation between the microscopic orientation of molecular rearrangements and the macroscopic mechanical motion

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Abstract

The salient effect, which refers to a jumping phenomenon of organic and organometallic molecular crystals typically triggered by phase transitions in response to external stimuli, has been investigated intensively in the last five years. A challenging topic in this research area is the question of how to characterize the release of microscopic strain accumulated during phase transitions, which generates macroscopic mechanical motion. Herein, we describe the thermosalient effect of the triphenylethenyl gold 4-chlorophenyl isocyanide complex 1, which jumps reversibly at approximately −100 °C upon cooling at 50 °C min−1 and heating at 30 °C min−1. Single-crystal X-ray diffraction measurements and differential scanning calorimetric analyses of 1 suggest the occurrence of a thermal phase transition at this temperature. Detailed structural analyses indicate that anisotropic changes to the molecular arrangement occur in 1, whereby the crystallographic a axis contracts upon cooling while the b axis expands. Simultaneously, macroscopic changes of the crystal dimensions occur. This is observed as bending, i.e., as an inclination of the crystal edges, and in the form of splitting, which occurs in a perpendicular direction to the major crystal axis. This study thus bridges the gap between macroscopic mechanical responses that are observed in high-speed photographic images and microscopic changes of the crystal structure, which are evaluated by X-ray diffraction measurements with face indexing.

Graphical abstract: Anisotropic strain release in a thermosalient crystal: correlation between the microscopic orientation of molecular rearrangements and the macroscopic mechanical motion

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Publication details

The article was received on 13 Dec 2018, accepted on 05 Mar 2019 and first published on 06 Mar 2019


Article type: Edge Article
DOI: 10.1039/C8SC05563G
Chem. Sci., 2019,10, 4185-4191
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY-NC license
    All publication charges for this article have been paid for by the Royal Society of Chemistry

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    Anisotropic strain release in a thermosalient crystal: correlation between the microscopic orientation of molecular rearrangements and the macroscopic mechanical motion

    T. Seki, T. Mashimo and H. Ito, Chem. Sci., 2019, 10, 4185
    DOI: 10.1039/C8SC05563G

    This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported Licence. Material from this article can be used in other publications provided that the correct acknowledgement is given with the reproduced material and it is not used for commercial purposes.

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