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Cocrystals: Synthesis, Structure, and Applications

Supramolecular Materials Chemistry

  1. Christer B. Aakeröy,
  2. Prashant D. Chopade

Published Online: 15 MAR 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9780470661345.smc113

Supramolecular Chemistry: From Molecules to Nanomaterials

Supramolecular Chemistry: From Molecules to Nanomaterials

How to Cite

Aakeröy, C. B. and Chopade, P. D. 2012. Cocrystals: Synthesis, Structure, and Applications. Supramolecular Chemistry: From Molecules to Nanomaterials. .

Author Information

  1. Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 MAR 2012


The crystal structure of a compound, the 3D orientation and organization of molecules in a highly regular manner, ultimately determines most of the fundamental physical properties of that particular material, for example, thermal stability, hygroscopicity, conductivity, and mechanical strength. Consequently, an ability to control and change the crystalline environment of a material without altering the molecular properties would be of enormous significance to both manufacturers and consumers of solid specialty chemicals such as pharmaceuticals, pigments, energetic materials, toxins, foodstuff, and detergents.

Preparation of cocrystals—homogeneous crystalline solids composed of different molecular building blocks—offers an additional path for incorporating functional molecules, active ingredients, within a crystalline casing, but the synthetic challenges associated with supramolecular synthesis are numerous and nontrivial.

This chapter describes several strategies for the assembly of cocrystals using hydrogen bonds and halogen bonds and provides a more in-depth examination of how the electrostatic charge on individual attempts can be used to control efficiency and selectivity of supramolecular synthesis. Finally, a few examples of applications of cocrystals in pharmaceutical sciences are discussed.


  • hydrogen bond;
  • halogen bond;
  • noncovalent synthesis;
  • electrostatic charge;
  • crystal structure