The research activities of the “Cristallogénèse” team (lead: Prof S. Petit) are essentially focused on the study of crystallization of low molecular weight organic compounds, mostly pharmaceutical compounds, but also energetic materials or semiconducting materials. Based on strong knowledge of the fundamental principles of thermodynamics of heterogeneous equilibria, the main expertise of the “Cristallogénèse” team lies in the use and the determination of phase diagrams, thus allowing an efficient control of the physico-chemical properties (chemical purity, polymorphism…) of the crystallized materials. The research axes developed in the team benefit from this skilled expertise of phase diagrams, which makes the approach to the scientific problematics unique in France and in Europe:
- Chiral discrimination in the solid state by crystallization (Pasteurian Resolution, Host-guest complexes), Preferential crystallization (AS3PC and ASPRECISE modes were developed within the team), Deracemization (Continuous Viedma resolution), Fundamentals mechanisms of Preferential Enrichment.
- Structural purity of organic materials (polymorphism, solvates, hydrates, cocrystals, amorphous), study of phase transitions mechanisms, amorphous phase stability, “continuum” between amorphous and crystal and analysis of disorder, study and resolution of crystal structures.
- Crystal growth of organic materials, single crystals preparation, study of formation mechanisms of macroscopic defects in crystals (liquid and/or solid inclusions).
- Elaboration of experimental prototypes (second harmonic generation (SHG) for the construction of phase diagrams and the determination of structural purity, Zone melting and sublimation enabling access to ultra-purification, In-situ X-ray analysis of crystal suspensions with PAT (process analytical technology) perspective In-SituX).
In october 2016, the team is constituted of 13 permanent members (8 lecturers, 2 research engineers, and 3 technical staff of the lab) and 7 PhD students (two are shared between the two teams of the lab.) and 2 Post docs,