Mechanical Stress and Reactivity in Organic Solids

Science  14 Nov 1986:
Vol. 234, Issue 4778, pp. 830-835
DOI: 10.1126/science.234.4778.830


Organic single crystals provide an ideal model for studying the factors that influence chemical processes in structured media. Reaction trajectories are well defined and reveal the influence of spontaneous mechanical stresses equivalent to tens of thousands of atmospheres. Analysis of molecular and crystal structures helps to explain both local mechanical properties, which influence reactions, and bulk properties such as melting point, compressibility, and surface energy.

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