Additive mediated syn-anti conformational tuning at nucleation to capture elusive polymorphs: remarkable role of extended pi-stacking interactions in driving the self-assembly

TitleAdditive mediated syn-anti conformational tuning at nucleation to capture elusive polymorphs: remarkable role of extended pi-stacking interactions in driving the self-assembly
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsGawade, RL, Chakravarty, DK, Kotmale, A, Sangtani, E, Joshi, PV, Ahmed, A, Mane, MV, Das, S, Vanka, K, Rajamohanan, PR, Puranik, VG, Gonnade, RG
JournalCrystal Growth & Design
Date PublishedAPR

Understanding the process of prenucleation clustering at supersaturating stage is of significant importance to envisage the polymorphism in crystalline materials. Preferential formation of a thermodynamically stable crystal form suggests energetically favored patterns of interactions which control molecular aggregation during nucleation. Introduction of additives during crystallization is sometimes used as a suitable strategy to obtain metastable polymorphs in cases where it is not easy to capture the same by conventional crystallization methods. Comparative analysis of energy relationships and intermolecular interactions between thermodynamically stable and metastable crystal forms provides valuable clues about the nature of growth synthons at prenucleation clustering and preferential crystallization of the thermodynamic form. Conformationally flexible sulfonamide/sulfoester derivatives constituting electron rich and electron deficient aromatic rings were synthesized to study the interplay between pi-stacking and hydrogen bonding synthons. We have identified and characterized the thermodynamically stable and metastable elusive polymorphs of aromatic sulfonamides 1 and 2 and sulfoesters 3 and 4. However, these compounds eluded polymorphism during crystallisation from various common solvents/conditions and only produced thermodynamically stable crystals forms (form I crystals). Surprisingly, exploitation of pyrazinamide as an additive in different stoichiometric ratios during crystallization gave elusive polymorphs [three for 1 (form 1II, form 1III, and form 1IV) and one each for 2 (form 2II), 3 (form 3II), and 4 (form 4II)]. Molecules in stable crystal forms of these compounds are linked via extended chains of parallel displaced pi...pi stacking interactions that seem to play a vital role in driving the self-assembly of molecules and subsequently governing the nucleation process. In contrast, molecules in metastable polymorphs are devoid of such extended pi-stacking assemblies. Interestingly, differential scanning calorimetry, hot stage microscopy, and X-ray crystallographic studies confirmed the thermal crystal-to-crystal transition of all three metastable polymorphs of 1 (form 1II, form 1III, and form 1IV) to its thermodynamically stable crystal form (form 1I). Conformational analysis of molecule 1 using density functional theory calculations also validated higher stability for syn conformation (observed in Form 1I crystals) over anti and midway conformations (seen in metastable polymorphs). Melt crystallization of form 1I crystals of 1 on the larger face (001) of delta-pyrazinamide and lattice matching analysis (GRACE) revealed that the layered arrangement of molecules of delta-pyrazinamide (on 001 face) during heterogeneous nucleation acts as a template (heteroepitaxy) to provide a preferential site for the nucleation of new metastable polymorphs by selectively inhibiting the most preferred crystal form from growing into the nucleus. Solution state one- and two-dimensional (NOESY) H-1 NMR, scanning electron microscopy, and a Cambridge Structural Database survey were conducted to substantiate the role of additives during crystallization.

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Divison category: 
Center for Material Characterization (CMC)
Central NMR Facility
Physical and Materials Chemistry