Eshelby untwisting

Xiaodi Zhong, Hengyu Zhou, Chao Li, Alexander G. Shtukenberg, Michael D. Ward, Bart Kahr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The concept of Eshelby untwisting, the effect of an axial screw dislocation driving an intrinsically twisted nanocrystal towards a straighter configuration more consistent with long-range translational symmetry, is introduced here. Force-field simulations of nanorods built from the enantiomorphous (space groups,P3121 andP3221) crystal structures of benzil (C6H5-C(O)-C(O)-C6H5) were previously shown to twist in opposite directions, even in the absence of dislocations. Here, both right- and left-handed screw dislocations were introduced into benzil nanorodsin silico. For rods built from theP3221 enantiomorph, dislocations with negative Burgers vectors increased the right-handed twisting already present in the intrinsically twisted structures without dislocations, whereas dislocations with positive Burgers vectors drove the twisted structure back towards a straight configuration, untwisting. In the dynamic simulations, theP3221 helicoid endowed with a positive Burgers vector ultimately twisted back through the straight configuration, until a helicoid of opposite sense from that of the starting structure, was obtained. The bearing of these observations on the propensity of small crystals to adopt non-polyhedral morphologies is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5538-5541
Number of pages4
JournalChemical Communications
Issue number45
StatePublished - Jun 7 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • General Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry


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