Polymorph Selectivity under Nanoscopic Confinement

Jeong Myeong Ha, Johanna H. Wolf, Marc A. Hillmyer, Michael D. Ward

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Polymorph selectivity has been achieved during crystallization of anthranilic acid (AA) and 5-methyl-2-[(2-nitrophyenyl)amino]-3-thiophenecarbonitrile (ROY), both considered benchmarks of polymorphic behavior, within nanoporous glass beads and polymer monoliths. Whereas polymorph III of AA crystallizes from the melt on nonporous glass beads or within larger pores, the metastable polymorph II crystallizes in pores with diameters <23 nm, with the selectivity toward this form increasing with decreasing pore size. Of the six ROY polymorphs characterized by single-crystal X-ray diffraction, the yellow form (Y) crystallizes during evaporation of pyridine solutions imbibed by the 30-nm cylindrical pores of porous polycyclohexylethylene (p-PCHE) monoliths. Although both R and ON grow from the melt on the external surfaces of PCHE, only the red form (R) crystallizes in the pores. Amorphous ROY also forms in p-PCHE pores during evaporation from pyridine solutions, subsequently crystallizing to the R nanocrystals upon heating. Although heterogeneous nucleation on the pore walls may play a role, these observations suggest that nucleation and polymorph selectivity is governed by critical size constraints imposed by the ultrasmall pores. The ability to achieve polymorph selectivity in both glass and polymer matrices suggests wide-ranging compatibility with various organic crystalline solids, promising a new approach to controlling polymorphism and searching for unknown polymorphs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3382-3383
Number of pages2
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number11
StatePublished - Mar 22 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • General Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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