Metastability by design: new paradigms for functional molecular materials

    Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk


    The design and development of responsive “smart” materials is a key challenge in contemporary materials science, with applications ranging from chemical sensing and environmental monitoring to personal medicine and fashion. Selectively trapping long-lived metastable states provides a new and relatively unexplored, but highly-promising, route to materials with selective responses to a range of environmental stimuli.

    In this talk, I will discuss three examples. Square-planar Pt complexes based on tridentate “pincer” ligands produce needle-like crystals where the Pt-Pt stacking and colour can be perturbed by diffusion of small molecules through the crystallites, and the solvent selectivity and response controlled via the ligand chemistry. Solid-state linkage isomers show a photoinduced change in ligand binding through a single-crystal-to-single-crystal phase transition. Using time-resolved single-crystal X-ray diffraction and kinetic modelling, I will show how the metastable-state lifetimes can be tuned through orders of magnitude by varying the temperature. Finally, I will also present a family of thermochromic organic cocrystals that show a series of temperature-induced SCSC transitions, enabled by molecular disorder introduced with a novel crystal-engineering strategy.

    Finally, I will also highlight how a combination of spectroscopy, crystallography and modelling can together yield the atomistic understanding needed to exploit metastability as a design strategy in the future.
    Period17 Sep 2018
    Event titleEuropean Materials Research Society (EMRS) Fall Meeting 2018
    Event typeConference
    LocationWarsaw, PolandShow on map
    Degree of RecognitionInternational