Mechanics of twisted hippuric acid crystals untwisting as they grow

Alexander G. Shtukenberg, Ankit Gujral, Elena Rosseeva, Xiaoyan Cui, Bart Kahr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Spontaneous twisting of single crystals is a common growth induced deformation. But as twisted crystals thicken they can untwist, restoring a straight form. The mechanics of this process was studied for vapor grown needle-like crystals of N-benzoylglycine (hippuric acid) and N-(2-thienylcarbonyl)glycine, and analyzed by phenomenological models. The elastic stress at the crystal tip undergoes plastic relaxation leading to the twisting deformations. As the crystal grows and thickens it partially untwists showing linear increases of the twist period with crystal thickness. Such behavior was simulated with a model that assumes the constant density of defects in successive growth layers. However, transmission electron microscopy does not reveal any dislocations or other extended defects typically associated with plastic deformation. Published data on other materials show the linear dependencies of pitch on thickness suggesting comparable untwisting mechanisms for different materials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8817-8824
Number of pages8
Issue number46
StatePublished - 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics


Dive into the research topics of 'Mechanics of twisted hippuric acid crystals untwisting as they grow'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this