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Researchers Discover Self-Assembled Crystal Structures

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Conceptual image showcasing several interaction potential shapes, represented by stems, that will lead to the self-assembly of new low-coordinated crystal structures, represented by flowers.

Cornell Ph.D. student Hillary Pan said the researchers "found new structures that weren’t previously listed in any crystal structure database; these particles are actually assembling into something that nobody had ever seen before."

Credit: Hillary Pan

Cornell University researchers have discovered over 20 never-before-seen self-assembled crystal structures.

Using a targeted computational approach, the researchers looked for previously unknown structures characterized by low particle coordination.

They developed a new functional form for particle interactions that allows all features to be tuned independently.

The researchers observed significant complexity and symmetry within these crystal structures, including clathrates (chemical substances made up of a lattice that traps or contains molecules)
with empty 'cages', and low-symmetry structures.

From Cornell Chronicle
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Abstracts Copyright © 2023 SmithBucklin, Washington, D.C., USA


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