Quantitative reversible one pot interconversion of three crystalline polymorphs by ball mill grinding†
We demonstrate here using a disulfide system the first example of reversible, selective, and quantitative transformation between three crystalline polymorphs by ball mill grinding. This includes the discovery of a previously unknown polymorph. Each polymorph is reproducibly obtained under well-defined neat or liquid-assisted grinding conditions, revealing subtle control over the apparent thermodynamic stability. We discovered that the presence of a contaminant as low as 1.5% mol mol−1 acting as a template is required to enable all these three polymorph transformations. The relative stabilities of the polymorphs are determined by the sizes of the nanocrystals produced under different conditions and by surface interactions with small amounts of added solvent. For the first time, we show evidence that each of the three polymorphs is obtained with a unique and reproducible crystalline size. This mechanochemical approach gives access to bulk quantities of metastable polymorphs that are inaccessible through recrystallisation.
- This article is part of the themed collections: CrystEngComm up-and-coming articles and Open Access in CrystEngComm