Efficient Polymorph Screening through Crystallization from Bulk and Confined Melts

Noalle Fellah, Lamia Tahsin, Carolyn Jin Zhang, Bart Kahr, Michael D. Ward, Alexander G. Shtukenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Crystallization from the melt can allow the achievement of high driving force for crystallization accompanied by relatively slow growth, nucleation, and transformation rates, features that favor its use as an efficient polymorph screening method. Surprisingly, even though melt crystallization has a long history, it has been employed less often in the search for new polymorphs than solution crystallization. Applications of melt crystallization to 21 highly polymorphic, well-characterized compounds with at least five ambient polymorphs revealed that melt crystallization afforded more than half of the known polymorphs and in many cases revealed new polymorphs not detected by other screening methods. A statistical analysis revealed that polymorphs grown from the melt have a greater propensity for high Z′ values, which are not easily accessible by other crystallization protocols and are often not detectable by crystal structure prediction methods. Melt crystallization within nanopores (8-100 nm) performed for 19 of the 21 compounds mostly resulted in polymorphs that dominated crystallization from the bulk melt at similar temperatures. The total number of polymorphs observed in nanopores was less than that observed during crystallization from the bulk melt, however, and melt crystallization under confinement revealed new polymorphs not detected by other crystallization methods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7527-7543
Number of pages17
JournalCrystal Growth and Design
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 7 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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