An unforeseen polymorph of coronene by the application of magnetic fields during crystal growth

Jason Potticary, Lui R. Terry, Chris Bell, Alexandros N. Papanikolopoulos, Peter C. M. Christianen, Hans Engelkamp, Andrew M. Collins, Claudio Fontanesi, Gabriele Kociok-Köhn, Simon Crampin, Enrico da Como, Simon R. Hall*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)
383 Downloads (Pure)


The continued development of novel drugs, proteins, and advanced materials strongly rely on our ability to self-assemble molecules in solids with the most suitable structure (polymorph) in order to exhibit desired functionalities. The search for new polymorphs remains a scientific challenge, that is at the core of crystal engineering and there has been a lack of effective solutions to this problem. Here we show that by crystallizing the polyaromatic hydrocarbon coronene in the presence of a magnetic field, a polymorph is formed in a β-herringbone structure instead of the ubiquitous 3-herringbone structure, with a decrease of 35° in the herringbone nearest neighbour angle. The β-herringbone polymorph is stable, preserves its structure under ambient conditions and as a result of the altered molecular packing of the crystals, exhibits significant changes to the optical and mechanical properties of the crystal.

Original languageEnglish
Article number11555
Number of pages7
JournalNature Communications
Early online date10 May 2016
Publication statusPublished - 10 May 2016


  • Crystal-growth
  • Polyaromatic hydrocarbon
  • Polymorphism
  • Coronene

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