University of Illinois at Chicago

Multiscale Computational Model for Polymorphism and Growth of Crystals in Solution Crystallization

Download (9.9 MB)
posted on 2022-12-01, 00:00 authored by Anish Vikas Dighe
Understanding the self-assembly of molecules during crystallization is critical for the precise synthesis of crystalline materials. Diverse types of materials such nanomaterials, active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), proteins, zeolites, metal- and covalent-organic frameworks are manufactured using crystallization. Although crystallization is widely used, the relationship between molecular events during crystallization and the outcome of crystallization is not fully known. Such understanding is limited because of a large number of entities, long time and length scales, highly stochastic nature, presence of multiple energy minima in the crystal energy landscape, and complex interaction of solute-solvent molecules involved in the process of crystallization. To gain mechanistic insights and relate the outcome of crystallization with molecular events, I derive a multi-scale model. The multi-scale model combines molecular simulations, a semi-classical double-well approach, non-equilibrium sampling techniques, and continuous mathematical models to relate the solute-solvent interactions with the experimentally observable properties such as nucleation and growth rates. The multi-scale model is tested with the help of small organic molecules such as glutamic acid and histidine, as well as porous crystalline frameworks such as UiO-66 and COF-5. The model can reproduce the experimental results and link the smaller time-scale events, such as the exchange of solvent molecules in the solvation shell, with the experimentally observed crystal structure and morphology. In the case of crystallization of organic frameworks, the model can also predict the rate of formation of crystals due to oriented attachment quantitatively. Furthermore, the mechanistic insights derived from such analysis unify the theoretical and empirical observations laid down since the inception of crystallization research.



Singh, Meenesh R.


Singh, Meenesh R.


Chemical Engineering

Degree Grantor

University of Illinois at Chicago

Degree Level

  • Doctoral

Degree name

PhD, Doctor of Philosophy

Committee Member

Wedgewood, Lewis Linninger, Andreas Diwekar, Urmila Karpov, Eduard Shah, Jindal

Submitted date

December 2022

Thesis type



  • en

Usage metrics


    No categories selected