The impact of powder diffraction on the structural characterization of organic materials

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The bulk properties of organic crystalline materials depend on their molecular and crystal structures but, as many of these materials cannot be prepared in a suitable form for conventional single-crystal diffraction studies, structural characterization and rationalization of these properties must be obtained from powder diffraction data. The recent development of direct-space structure solution methods has enabled the study of a wide range of organic materials using powder diffraction data, many of structural complexity only made tractable by these advances in methodology. These direct-space methods are based on a number of global optimization techniques including Monte Carlo, simulated annealing, genetic algorithm and differential evolution approaches. In this article, the implementation and relative efficiency and reliability of these methods are discussed, and their impact on the structural study of organic materials is illustrated by examples of polymorphic systems, pharmaceutical, pigment and polypeptide structures and compounds used in the study of intermolecular networks.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2691-2707
Number of pages17
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of The Royal Society A Mathematical Physical and Engineering Sciences
Issue number1825
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2004


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