Mechanical properties and phenomena in crystals

Date : 22 August 2022

Venue : LPS Orsay

Organizer : Panče NAUMOV

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Description 

The word ‘crystal’ evokes images of transparent, hard and still solid objects. From the very early days of solid-state chemistry, this has created the perception that crystals are the ‘chemical cemetery’ of molecules. However, the emerging dynamic and adaptive properties of molecular crystalline materials that was recently amalgamated under the umbrella term of ‘crystal adaptronics’ represents one of the most exciting and fastest growing research areas in solid-state chemistry. The interdisciplinary nature of work in this field has attracted research groups from around the world who specialize in chemical crystallography, theoretical physics, experimental crystal engineering, mechanical engineering and more generally materials science. Encouraged by these developments, there is now an increasing number of reports from crystallographers, chemists, physicists and materials scientists on unusual mechanical properties or effects/phenomena that unravel the salient dynamic nature of molecular crystals. Along this research direction, molecular crystals are not only poised to become the materials of interest for future fundamental research, but are now also emerging as a new class of light-weight, organic dynamic materials for applications in light-weight (opto)electronic devices.

Concomitant with these exciting developments, there have also been questions and contrasting arguments regarding fundamental aspects of the underlying structural mechanisms. This burgeoning research field is at the stage where a broader community consensus is necessary regarding fundamental questions such as the mechanisms of deformation of molecular crystals, the natural limits of mechanical properties of crystals, the role and fate of defects in these processes, and various kinetic/kinematic aspects that are specific to this class of materials. The application of crystallography and computational methods are central to understanding the underlying mechanisms and structure-mechanical property relationships of this emerging class of adaptive crystalline materials. This satellite meeting will gather together some of the most active researchers in this field from the crystallography, scattering, computational modelling and crystal engineering communities in order to discuss the most recent developments and future prospects in the research on mechanical properties and phenomena in crystals. The input of crystallographers is central to gaining a thorough understanding of these newly explored phenomena, and we hope that this focused meeting will help resolve some of the ongoing disputes on the relevance of specific structural features that underlie particular mechanical properties and effects in crystals.