Flexible crystals: inducing new physical properties in crystalline materials through the combination and control of intermolecular interactions (2014–2017)
The proposal aims to design new crystalline materials with unique physical and mechanical properties such as elastic flexibility. An innovative approach will be employed, using the weak forces between molecules arranged in a crystal lattice to control the bulk properties of the materials. The strength, nature and vectors of the intermolecular interactions will be varied and correlated with the resulting mechanical characteristics. By doing so, we will learn how to engineer materials with predictable and useful properties. The development of this approach will generate fundamental understanding of complementary intermolecular forces and lay the foundations for the materials produced to be tailored for specific high-tech applications.