(83e) Design of Nanostructured 'catalyst' for Nucleation of Molecular Crystals

Helgeson, M. E., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Diao, Y., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Myerson, A. S., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Trout, B. L., Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Despite its widespread occurrence in nature and broad application in industrial practice, nucleation of crystalline materials remains largely unpredictable and therefore difficult to control. In this work, we demonstrate a new method to control nucleation with polymer microgels by tuning their nanostructure to vary systematically the degree of nanoscopic confinement and its effects on nucleation. We find that the polymer nanostructure has a significant impact on nucleation kinetics. Moreover, there exists an optimum polymer mesh size at which the rate of nucleation is dramatically enhanced, the degree to which depends on the extent of polymer-solute interactions. Besides, we also found that these polymeric particles play a role in determining the crystal polymorphism of pharmaceutical compounds, which is of great importance in the pharmaceutical manufacturing process.