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Title: Effect of high pressure on structural oddities
Author: Johnstone, Russell D. L.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2731 689X
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2010
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This thesis describes the effect of pressure on crystal structures that are in some way unusual. The aim was to investigate whether pressure could be used to force these ‘structural oddities’ to conform to more conventional behaviour. In many cases pressure-induced phase transitions were observed, and the driving forces of these are considered. L-serine monohydrate crystallises with layers of hydrogen bonded serine molecules. Layers are linked together by H-bonds from the donor atoms of water molecules. The orientation of the water molecules between the layers is uncommon for other layered hydrates in the CSD. A single crystal of serine hydrate undergoes a pressure-induced phase transition at 5 GPa, which is characterised by a rotation of the water molecules to an orientation which is more frequently observed. PIXEL calculations show that the transition is driven by the PV term in the equation G = U - TS + PV. An attempt to reproduce the transition in another layered hydrate with a similar topology was partially successful in the compression of S-4-sulfo-L-phenylalanine monohydrate, which undergoes a similar phase transition at 1 GPa. Methyl 2-(9H-carbazol-9-yl)benzoate crystallises unusually with eight molecules in the asymmetric unit (Z’ = 8). Compression of a single crystal results in a phase transition at ca. 5 GPa to give a Z’ = 2 polymorph. The PV term is an important contributor to the driving force of the transition. The geometries of the molecules in phase-II are significantly less stable than in phase-I, and as pressure is released on phase-II the need to adopt a more stable molecular conformation eventually outweighs the PV advantage. The Z’ = 8 structure is eventually re-established at 4.6 GPa. This work illustrates how low Z’ polymorphs of the same structure are not always the thermodynamically more stable forms. When recrystallised in situ from a 4:1 by volume solution of methanol and ethanol, a new polymorph of salicylamide is obtained at 0.2 GPa. The ambient pressure phase appears in the CSD to contain a number of abnormally short H…H contacts. We find this model to be incorrect, and have re-determined the structure to find no short H…H contacts. PIXEL and DFT calculations indicate that the high-pressure polymorph is favoured over the ambient phase by the PV term, the zero point energy and entropy. Low completeness that often occurs as a result of shading from the high-pressure cell was improved by the inclusion of multiple crystals within the sample chamber. Bianthrone changes colour from yellow to green on grinding, though this does not occur when subjected to hydrostatic pressure to 6.5 GPa. There is, however, a subtle colour change from bright yellow to dark orange as pressure is applied, and it is likely that this is caused by changes in the - stacking distances. This work highlights how a system can react differently to hydrostatic and non-hydrostatic conditions.
Supervisor: Parsons, Simon. ; Pidcock, Elna. Sponsor: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: crystallography ; high pressure ; synchrotron ; polymorphism