Concomitant polymorphism and the martensitic-like transformation of an organic crystal

Michael T. Ruggiero, J. Axel Zeitler, Timothy M. Korter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Crystalline polymorphism is a phenomenon that occurs in many molecular solids, resulting in a diverse range of possible bulk structures. Temperature and pressure can often be used to thermodynamically control which crystal form is preferred, and the associated transitions between polymorphic phases are often discontinuous and complete. N-Methyl-4-carboxypyridinium chloride is a solid that undergoes an apparent continuous temperature-dependent phase transition from an orthorhombic to a monoclinic polymorph. However, a hybrid characterization approach using single-crystal X-ray diffraction, terahertz time-domain spectroscopy, and solid-state density functional theory reveals the transformation to be actually a slowly changing ratio of the two discrete polymorphic forms. The potential energy surface of this process can be directly accessed using terahertz radiation, and the data show that a very low barrier (43.3 J mol-1) exists along the polymorph transformation coordinate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)28502-28506
Number of pages5
JournalPhysical Chemistry Chemical Physics
Issue number42
StatePublished - 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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