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We are based at the Department of Crystallography at the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen. Our group is primarily interested in studying the effects of high pressure, usually up to 2 GPa (~20000 atmospheres) on the crystal structure and crystallisation behaviour of materials of biological and pharmaceutical interest. Crystals subjected to hydrostatic pressures or grown in situ at high pressure can be analysed by single-crystal X-ray diffraction (in the diamond-anvil cell) and further characterised by spectroscopic and calorimetric techniques. Detailed crystal structure analysis plays an important role in our research, enabling a better description and understanding of intermolecular interactions and phase transitions, as well as phenomena such as polymorphism and solvate formation.

Main projects

Novel physical forms
The aim here is to develop high-pressure crystallisation methods to extend the search space for novel physical forms (polymorphs, hydrates, solvates) and test the feasibility of recovering materials to conditions of ambient pressure. By varying solvent, concentration and pressure and performing complementary ambient-pressure crystallisation experiments, the crystallisation space of an active pharmaceutical ingredient can be thoroughly explored.

Conformational flexibility and hydration
A combined in situ crystallisation and direct compression approach is an effective means to monitoring a variety of structural changes in molecular crystal as a function of pressure. The focus here is on hydration, disorder and conformational flexibility. The information from these studies can be used to gain a better insight into structure-property and structure-function relationships.