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Nonclassical crystal growth and growth rate hysteresis observed during the growth of curcumin in impure solutions

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-08-08, 08:49 authored by Vasanth Kumar KannuchamyVasanth Kumar Kannuchamy, Srinivas Gadipelli, Kiran A. Ramisetty, Claire Heffernan, Andrew A. Stewart, Vivek RanadeVivek Ranade, Chris Howard, Dan Brett

During the growth of crystals in impure solution, impurities can pin the flow of the elementary steps and decrease the growth rate or even arrest the crystal growth. In this work, for the first time, we showed that curcumin crystals can grow in impure solution that contains two structurally similar impurities, following a non-classical crystallisation pathway that deviates from the pinning mechanism. We showed that, in a highly impure solution that contains 20 wt% of impurities, a high supersaturation can initiate the crystal growth via sympathetic nucleation that involves the formation of new growth surfaces on the seed crystals. These new surfaces formed on the seed crystals at the expense of higher supersaturation act like active growth surfaces and dictate the entire crystal growth kinetics especially at lower supersaturations. We showed that, if we can artificially create new surfaces that look like giant macrosteps at the micron scale on the crystal surface, then these macrosteps can not only speed-up the crystallisation rate but also control the rate of transfer of impurities into the bulk crystals.


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CrystEngComm, 2023,25, pp. 3361-3379


Royal Society of Chemistry

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  • Synthesis and Solid State Pharmaceutical Centre

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