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Issue 84, 2020
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The mechanism of bending in a plastically flexible crystal

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Abstract

Mechanically adaptable molecular crystals have potential applications in flexible smart materials and devices. Here, we report the mechanism of plastic deformation in single crystals of a small organic molecule (N-(4-ethynylphenyl)-3-fluoro-4-(trifluoromethyl)benzamide) that can be repeatedly irreversibly bent and returned to its original shape without concomitant delamination or loss of integrity. Along with the quantification of the crystals’ local and bulk mechanical properties (hardness, indentation modulus and Young's modulus), micro-focus synchrotron X-ray diffraction mapping show that upon deformation, molecular layers lined with trifluoromethyl groups cooperatively slip past one another resulting in their impressive plastic malleability.

Graphical abstract: The mechanism of bending in a plastically flexible crystal

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Article information


Submitted
01 Sep 2020
Accepted
16 Sep 2020
First published
17 Sep 2020

Chem. Commun., 2020,56, 12841-12844
Article type
Communication

The mechanism of bending in a plastically flexible crystal

S. Bhandary, A. J. Thompson, J. C. McMurtrie, J. K. Clegg, P. Ghosh, S. R. N. K. Mangalampalli, S. Takamizawa and D. Chopra, Chem. Commun., 2020, 56, 12841
DOI: 10.1039/D0CC05904H

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