Crystallization and matrix formation - Crystals

4 important questions on Crystallization and matrix formation - Crystals

Why can crystals only form at low temperatures?

Otherwise the ordered structure is disrupted by the random Brownian motion.

Which interactions take place in a crystal?

  • Hydrophobic (Van der Waals)
  • Polar (permanent: Debye)
  • Hydrogen bonds

Why are there isomorphs of ice crystals?

They form a different structure at elevated pressures and very low temperatures.

What is the difference in how small and larger molecules grow a crystal?

The way the molecules are stacked.
Small molecules --> cubic, hexagonal or similar crystals
Larger molecules (e.g. Lipids) --> sheet like crystals, they grow by stacking the alkyl chains next to each other, such that the polar head groups stick out of this layer, both hydrophobic interactions (inside the sheets) and hydrophilic interactions (between the head groups and surrounding oil liquid).

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