Growth actuated bending and twisting of single crystals

Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2014 Jan 13;53(3):672-99. doi: 10.1002/anie.201301223. Epub 2014 Jan 2.


Crystals of a variety of substances including elements, minerals, simple salts, organic molecular crystals, and high polymers forgo long-range translational order by twisting and bending as they grow. These deviations have been observed in crystals ranging in size from nanometers to centimeters. How and why so many materials choose dramatic non-crystallographic distortions is analyzed, with an emphasis on crystal chemistries that give rise to stresses operating either on surfaces of crystallites or within the bulk.

Keywords: X-ray diffraction; crystal growth; electron microscopy; helical structures; mechanical properties.