In the last few decades, supramolecular chemistry has been at the forefront of chemical research, with the aim of understanding chemistry beyond the covalent bond. Since the long-range periodicity in crystals is a product of the directionally specific short-range intermolecular interactions that are responsible for molecular assembly, analysis of crystalline solids provides a primary means to investigate intermolecular interactions and recognition phenomena. This article discusses some areas of contemporary research involving supramolecular interactions in the solid state. The topics covered are: (1) an overview and historical review of halogen bonding; (2) exploring non-ambient conditions to investigate intermolecular interactions in crystals; (3) the role of intermolecular interactions in morphotropy, being the link between isostructurality and polymorphism; (4) strategic realisation of kinetic coordination polymers by exploiting multi-interactive linker molecules. The discussion touches upon many of the prerequisites for controlled preparation and characterization of crystalline materials.
Keywords: coordination polymers; crystal engineering; halogen bonding; intermolecular interactions; kinetic assembly; non-ambient conditions; phase transitions; polymorphism; self-assembly.