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The Role of Weak Interactions in the Phase Transition and Distinct Mechanical Behavior of Two Structurally Similar Caffeine Co-crystal Polymorphs Studied by Nanoindentation

Ghosh, Soumyajit and Mondal, Arobendo and Kiran, MSRN and Ramamurty, U and Reddy, C Malla (2013) The Role of Weak Interactions in the Phase Transition and Distinct Mechanical Behavior of Two Structurally Similar Caffeine Co-crystal Polymorphs Studied by Nanoindentation. In: CRYSTAL GROWTH & DESIGN, 13 (10). pp. 4435-4441.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/cg400928v

Abstract

Although weak interactions, such as C-H center dot center dot center dot O and pi-stacking, are generally considered to be insignificant, it is their reorganization that holds the key for many a solid-state phenomenon, such as phase transitions, plastic deformation, elastic flexibility, and mechanochromic luminescence in solid-state fluorophores. Despite this, the role of weak interactions in these dynamic phenomena is poorly understood. In this study, we investigate two co-crystal polymorphs of caffeine:4-chloro-3-nitrobenzoic acid, which have close structural similarity (2D layered structures), but surprisingly show distinct mechanical behavior. Form I is brittle, but shows shear-induced phase instability and, upon grinding, converts to Form II, which is soft and plastically shearable. This observation is in contrast to those reported in earlier studies on aspirin, wherein the metastable drug forms are softer and convert to stable and harder forms upon stressing To establish a molecular level understanding, have investigated the two co-crystal polymorphs I and II by single crystal X-ray diffraction, nanoindentation to quantify mechanical properties, and theoretical calculations. The lower hardness (from nanoindentation) and smooth potential surfaces (from theoretical studies) for shearing of layers in Form II allowed us to rationalize the role of stronger intralayer (sp(2))C-H center dot center dot center dot O and nonspecific interlayer pi-stacking interactions in the structure of II. Although the Form I also possesses the same type of interactions, its strength is clearly opposite, that is, weaker intralayer (sp(3))C-H center dot center dot center dot O and specific interlayer pi-stacking interactions. Hence, Form I is harder than Form IL Theoretical calculations and indentation on (111) of Form I suggested the low resistance of this face to mechanical stress; thus, Form I converts to II upon mechanical action. Hence, our approach demonstrates the usefulness of multiple techniques for establishing the role of weak noncovalent interactions in solid-state dynamic phenomena, such as stress induced phase transformation, and hence is important in the context of solid-state pharmaceutical chemistry and crystal engineering.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copyright for their article belongs to AMER CHEMICAL SOC, 1155 16TH ST, NW, WASHINGTON, DC 20036 USA
Department/Centre: Division of Physical & Mathematical Sciences > Mathematics
Depositing User: Id for Latest eprints
Date Deposited: 12 Dec 2013 12:18
Last Modified: 12 Dec 2013 12:18
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/47892

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