From small molecules to infinite superatomic sheets
Developing a precise understanding of structure-function relationships in molecular crystals can
allow us to generate a wide range of properties from extremely simple building blocks. In the first
half of my talk, I will discuss how crystal engineering and defects affect the macroscopic
properties of amino acid crystals. Moreover, I will describe the molecular-level determination of
the structure of defect sites, which are below the diffraction detection limit, using pyroelectric
measurement coupled with dispersion-corrected density functional theory calculations and
molecular dynamics simulations.
In the second half of my talk, I will introduce a new two-dimensional crystalline form of carbon
that we recently synthesized –– graphullerene. The constituent fullerene subunits in these
crystals are arranged hexagonally in a covalently interconnected molecular sheet that can be
mechanically exfoliated and characterized. I will describe how the properties of graphullerene
differ from those of graphene and molecular fullerenes.