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J Am Chem Soc. 2006 Aug 16;128(32):10372-3.

The dark side of crystal engineering: creating glasses from small symmetric molecules that form multiple hydrogen bonds.

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Département de Chimie, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Québec H3C 3J7, Canada.


Glasses made from compounds of low molecular weight are useful materials with many attractive features, including well-defined compositions. At present, there are no reliable ways to identify molecules that will form long-lived glasses, and efforts to design them have tended to rely on crude principles, such as avoiding small, symmetric, and relatively inflexible molecules that engage in strong intermolecular association. We have found that it is possible to make glasses from such molecules by turning to the dark side of crystal engineering and by making small but carefully selected structural modifications specifically designed to thwart established patterns of crystallization.


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