Predicting crystal structures of organic compounds

Chem Soc Rev. 2014 Apr 7;43(7):2098-111. doi: 10.1039/c3cs60279f. Epub 2013 Nov 22.

Abstract

Currently, organic crystal structure prediction (CSP) methods are based on searching for the most thermodynamically stable crystal structure, making various approximations in evaluating the crystal energy. The most stable (global minimum) structure provides a prediction of an experimental crystal structure. However, depending on the specific molecule, there may be other structures which are very close in energy. In this case, the other structures on the crystal energy landscape may be polymorphs, components of static or dynamic disorder in observed structures, or there may be no route to nucleating and growing these structures. A major reason for performing CSP studies is as a complement to solid form screening to see which alternative packings to the known polymorphs are thermodynamically feasible.