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1.  A mechanophysical phase transition provides a dramatic example of colour polymorphism: the tribochromism of a substituted tri(methylene)tetrahydrofuran-2-one 
Background
Derivatives of fulgides have been shown to have interesting photochromic properties. We have synthesised a number of such derivatives and have found, in some cases, that crystals can be made to change colour on crushing, a phenomenon we have termed “tribochromism”. We have studied a number of derivatives by X-ray crystallography, to see if the colour is linked to molecular structure or crystal packing, or both, and our structural results have been supported by calculation of molecular and lattice energies.
Results
A number of 5-dicyanomethylene-4-diphenylmethylene-3-disubstitutedmethylene-tetrahydrofuran-2-one compounds have been prepared and structurally characterised. The compounds are obtained as yellow or dark red crystals, or, in one case, both. In two cases where yellow crystals were obtained, we found that crushing the crystals gave a deep red powder. Structure determinations, including those of the one compound which gave both coloured forms, depending on crystallisation conditions, showed that the yellow crystals contained molecules in which the structure comprised a folded conformation at the diphenylmethylene site, whilst the red crystals contained molecules in a twisted conformation at this site. Lattice energy and molecular conformation energies were calculated for all molecules, and showed that the conformational energy of the molecule in structure IIIa (yellow) is marginally higher, and the conformation thus less stable, than that of the molecule in structure IIIb (red). However, the van der Waals energy for crystal structure IIIa, is slightly stronger than that of structure IIIb – which may be viewed as a hint of a metastable packing preference for IIIa, overcome by the contribution of a more stabilising Coulomb energy to the overall more favourable lattice energy of structure IIIb.
Conclusions
Our studies have shown that the crystal colour is correlated with one of two molecular conformations which are different in energy, but that the less stable conformation can be stabilised by its host crystal lattice.
Graphical abstractGraphical representation of the structural and colour change in the tribochromic compound (III).
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13065-014-0070-3) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/s13065-014-0070-3
PMCID: PMC4266767  PMID: 25516767
Photochromism; Tribochromism; Crystal structure analysis; Molecular and lattice energy calculations; Colour polymorphism
2.  A mechanophysical phase transition provides a dramatic example of colour polymorphism: the tribochromism of a substituted tri(methylene)tetrahydrofuran-2-one 
Background
Derivatives of fulgides have been shown to have interesting photochromic properties. We have synthesised a number of such derivatives and have found, in some cases, that crystals can be made to change colour on crushing, a phenomenon we have termed “tribochromism”. We have studied a number of derivatives by X-ray crystallography, to see if the colour is linked to molecular structure or crystal packing, or both, and our structural results have been supported by calculation of molecular and lattice energies.
Results
A number of 5-dicyanomethylene-4-diphenylmethylene-3-disubstitutedmethylene-tetrahydrofuran-2-one compounds have been prepared and structurally characterised. The compounds are obtained as yellow or dark red crystals, or, in one case, both. In two cases where yellow crystals were obtained, we found that crushing the crystals gave a deep red powder. Structure determinations, including those of the one compound which gave both coloured forms, depending on crystallisation conditions, showed that the yellow crystals contained molecules in which the structure comprised a folded conformation at the diphenylmethylene site, whilst the red crystals contained molecules in a twisted conformation at this site. Lattice energy and molecular conformation energies were calculated for all molecules, and showed that the conformational energy of the molecule in structure IIIa (yellow) is marginally higher, and the conformation thus less stable, than that of the molecule in structure IIIb (red). However, the van der Waals energy for crystal structure IIIa, is slightly stronger than that of structure IIIb – which may be viewed as a hint of a metastable packing preference for IIIa, overcome by the contribution of a more stabilising Coulomb energy to the overall more favourable lattice energy of structure IIIb.
Conclusions
Our studies have shown that the crystal colour is correlated with one of two molecular conformations which are different in energy, but that the less stable conformation can be stabilised by its host crystal lattice.
Graphical abstractGraphical representation of the structural and colour change in the tribochromic compound (III).
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13065-014-0070-3) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/s13065-014-0070-3
PMCID: PMC4266767  PMID: 25516767
Photochromism; Tribochromism; Crystal structure analysis; Molecular and lattice energy calculations; Colour polymorphism
3.  Towards crystal structure prediction of complex organic compounds – a report on the fifth blind test 
Following on from the success of the previous crystal structure prediction blind tests (CSP1999, CSP2001, CSP2004 and CSP2007), a fifth such collaborative project (CSP2010) was organized at the Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre. A range of methodologies was used by the participating groups in order to evaluate the ability of the current computational methods to predict the crystal structures of the six organic molecules chosen as targets for this blind test. The first four targets, two rigid molecules, one semi-flexible molecule and a 1:1 salt, matched the criteria for the targets from CSP2007, while the last two targets belonged to two new challenging categories – a larger, much more flexible molecule and a hydrate with more than one polymorph. Each group submitted three predictions for each target it attempted. There was at least one successful prediction for each target, and two groups were able to successfully predict the structure of the large flexible molecule as their first place submission. The results show that while not as many groups successfully predicted the structures of the three smallest molecules as in CSP2007, there is now evidence that methodologies such as dispersion-corrected density functional theory (DFT-D) are able to reliably do so. The results also highlight the many challenges posed by more complex systems and show that there are still issues to be overcome.
doi:10.1107/S0108768111042868
PMCID: PMC3222142  PMID: 22101543
4.  Towards crystal structure prediction of complex organic compounds – a report on the fifth blind test 
The results of the fifth blind test of crystal structure prediction, which show important success with more challenging large and flexible molecules, are presented and discussed.
Following on from the success of the previous crystal structure prediction blind tests (CSP1999, CSP2001, CSP2004 and CSP2007), a fifth such collaborative project (CSP2010) was organized at the Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre. A range of methodologies was used by the participating groups in order to evaluate the ability of the current computational methods to predict the crystal structures of the six organic molecules chosen as targets for this blind test. The first four targets, two rigid molecules, one semi-flexible molecule and a 1:1 salt, matched the criteria for the targets from CSP2007, while the last two targets belonged to two new challenging categories – a larger, much more flexible molecule and a hydrate with more than one polymorph. Each group submitted three predictions for each target it attempted. There was at least one successful prediction for each target, and two groups were able to successfully predict the structure of the large flexible molecule as their first place submission. The results show that while not as many groups successfully predicted the structures of the three smallest molecules as in CSP2007, there is now evidence that methodologies such as dispersion-corrected density functional theory (DFT-D) are able to reliably do so. The results also highlight the many challenges posed by more complex systems and show that there are still issues to be overcome.
doi:10.1107/S0108768111042868
PMCID: PMC3222142  PMID: 22101543
prediction; blind test; polymorph; crystal structure prediction
5.  Introductory Address on Spallanzani 
British Medical Journal  1891;2(1608):888-892.
PMCID: PMC2273789  PMID: 20753426

Results 1-5 (5)