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Crystal Engineering

Supramolecular Materials Chemistry

  1. Edward R. T. Tiekink

Published Online: 15 MAR 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9780470661345.smc107

Supramolecular Chemistry: From Molecules to Nanomaterials

Supramolecular Chemistry: From Molecules to Nanomaterials

How to Cite

Tiekink, E. R. T. 2012. Crystal Engineering. Supramolecular Chemistry: From Molecules to Nanomaterials. .

Author Information

  1. University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 MAR 2012


Crystal engineering is an emerging discipline whereby practitioners aim to arrange molecules, both organic and metalorganic, in the crystalline phase by rational design. This challenge requires the exploitation of well-known supramolecular glues such as hydrogen bonding and coordinate bonding. These are augmented by a myriad of nominally weaker and less directional noncovalent interactions that, increasingly, are being demonstrated as important in crystal structure design. Applications in fields as diverse as pharmaceuticals, photoluminescent materials, and metalorganic frameworks for gas storage are some of the motivations for crystal engineering that draw together scientists from a wide range of disciplines. This illustrated overview summarizes factors that dictate the ways molecules aggregate in the solid state, including a description of the diverse types of noncovalent interactions and other crystal packing principles that have being identified as being important in stabilizing crystal structure. Applications of crystal engineering drawn from both the organic and metalorganic realms are discussed. These include cocrystal formation, solid-state reactions, and metalorganic framework structures. Furthermore, the importance of in silico studies and data mining as they relate to crystal engineering is highlighted throughout.


  • crystal engineering;
  • supramolecular chemistry;
  • noncovalent forces;
  • solid-state chemistry;
  • crystal chemistry;
  • cocrystals;
  • multicomponent crystals;
  • coordination polymers