Surface Engineering of the Mechanical Properties of Molecular Crystals via an Atomistic Model for Computing the Facet Stress Response of Solids

Mubarak Almehairbi, Vikram C. Joshi, Ahamad Irfan, Zeinab M. Saeed, Tamador Alkhidir, Aya M. Abdelhaq, Praveen B. Managutti, Bhausaheb Dhokale, Thaksen Jadhav, Changquan Calvin Sun, Sharmarke Mohamed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Dynamic molecular crystals are an emerging class of crystalline materials that can respond to mechanical stress by dissipating internal strain in a number of ways. Given the serendipitous nature of the discovery of such crystals, progress in the field requires advances in computational methods for the accurate and high–throughput computation of the nanomechanical properties of crystals on specific facets which are exposed to mechanical stress. Here, we develop and apply a new atomistic model for computing the surface elastic moduli of crystals on any set of facets of interest using dispersion–corrected density functional theory (DFT−D) methods. The model was benchmarked against a total of 24 reported nanoindentation measurements from a diverse set of molecular crystals and was found to be generally reliable. Using only the experimental crystal structure of the dietary supplement, L–aspartic acid, the model was subsequently applied under blind test conditions, to correctly predict the growth morphology, facet and nanomechanical properties of L–aspartic acid to within the accuracy of the measured elastic stiffness of the crystal, 24.53±0.56 GPa. This work paves the way for the computational design and experimental realization of other functional molecular crystals with tailor–made mechanical properties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere202400779
JournalChemistry - A European Journal
Volume30
Issue number38
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 5 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 The Authors. Chemistry - A European Journal published by Wiley-VCH GmbH.

Keywords

  • Crystal Facets
  • Density Functional Theory
  • Mechanical Properties
  • Nanoindentation
  • Surface Engineering

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

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