Events Calendar
Feb 28
14:00 - 15:00
Dr Karen Robertson (Max Planck Institute for Colloids and Interface), Crystal Flow: understanding and controlling crystalline materials
Physical Sciences colloquia

Crystals are used in a vast range of applications, including pharmaceuticals, smartphones and insulation, where efficiency is often related to the crystal structure. For example, when a more stable crystalline form of the HIV/AIDs drug, Ritonavir, began to appear in factories, the original and more soluble (directly related to how well it is taken up into the body) crystalline form could not be produced. This meant that it had to be removed from the market whilst a new formulation was devised.

Crystallising in flow environments can allow for control over the resultant material not achievable in standard methods.1 Flow crystallisation has seen a surge of innovation in the past five years with a range of research lab-accessible milli-scale crystallisers developed.2,3 Employing varied flow crystallisers we have accessed a range of crystal attributes such as crystalline form (polymorph), particle size and shape control.4,5

The next evolutionary step in crystallisation control has been realised in the adaptation of a bespoke liquid-segmented crystalliser (KRAIC) for in-situ X-Ray analysis on the high resolution powder beamline (I11) at Diamond Light Source. The on-line structural information gained from this platform can help us to understand the crystallisation process as it is happening and therefore design more efficient routes to more efficacious materials.

  1. K. Robertson, Chemistry Central Journal, 2017, 11:4
  2. A. J. Alvarez, A. S. Myerson, Crystal Growth and Design, 2010, 10, 2219-2228
  3. R. J. P. Eder, S. Schrank, M. O. Besenhard, E. Roblegg, H. Gruber-Woelfler, J. G. Khinast, Crystal Growth and Design, 2012, 12, 4733-4738
  4. K. Robertson, A. R. Klapwijk, P.-B. Flandrin, C. C. Wilson, Crystal Growth and Design, 2016, 14, 4759-4764
  5. K. Robertson,* P.-B. Flandrin, H. J. Shepherd, C. C. Wilson, Chemistry Today, 2017, 35 (1), 19-22


    Ingram Lecture Theatre
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    Contact: Helena Shepherd
    School of Physical Sciences


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