Cooperative Change

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Science  01 Nov 2002:
Vol. 298, Issue 5595, pp. 919b
DOI: 10.1126/science.298.5595.919b

Transformations that preserve single crystals of organic molecules usually must avoid large motions of the lattice that would shatter the crystal and have mainly been seen in systems where double bonds convert to single bonds or where guest molecules move through pores. Atwood et al. (p. 1000; see the Perspective by Steed) observed a host-guest transformation where the addition of the guest to a nonporous host led to large-scale cooperative motion of the atoms, and thus maintained a single crystal. Once the transformation was initiated, it proceeded to equilibrium, even when the host was only partially saturated with guest molecules.

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