Atomic resolution of structural changes in elastic crystals of copper(II) acetylacetonate.

Author(s) Worthy, A.; Grosjean, A.; Pfrunder, M.C.; Xu, Y.; Yan, C.; Edwards, G.; Clegg, J.K.; McMurtrie, J.C.
Journal Nat Chem
Date Published 2018 Jan
Abstract

Single crystals are typically brittle, inelastic materials. Such mechanical responses limit their use in practical applications, particularly in flexible electronics and optical devices. Here we describe single crystals of a well-known coordination compound-copper(II) acetylacetonate-that are flexible enough to be reversibly tied into a knot. Mechanical measurements indicate that the crystals exhibit an elasticity similar to that of soft materials such as nylon, and thus display properties normally associated with both hard and soft matter. Using microfocused synchrotron radiation, we mapped the changes in crystal structure that occur on bending, and determined the mechanism that allows this flexibility with atomic precision. We show that, under strain, the molecules in the crystal reversibly rotate, and thus reorganize to allow the mechanical compression and expansion required for elasticity and still maintain the integrity of the crystal structure.

DOI 10.1038/nchem.2848
ISSN 1755-4349
Citation Worthy A, Grosjean A, Pfrunder MC, Xu Y, Yan C, Edwards G, et al. Atomic resolution of structural changes in elastic crystals of copper(II) acetylacetonate. Nat Chem. 2018;10(1):65-69.

Related Applications, Forms & Industries