The true structural periodicities and superspace group descriptions of the prototypical incommensurate composite materials: Alkane/urea inclusion compounds

Michel Couzi, François Guillaume, Kenneth D.M. Harris, Benjamin A. Palmer, Kirsten Christensen, Stephen P. Collins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

The prototypical family of incommensurate composite materials are the n-alkane/urea inclusion compounds, in which n-alkane guest molecules are arranged in a periodic manner along one-dimensional tunnels in a urea host structure, with an incommensurate relationship between the periodicities of the host and guest substructures along the tunnel. We develop interpretations of the structural periodicities, superspace group descriptions and symmetry properties of the low-temperature phases of n-alkane/urea inclusion compounds, based in part on a high-resolution synchrotron single-crystal X-ray diffraction study of n-nonadecane/urea. Specifically, we prove that, on passing from phase I to phase II, the C-centering of the orthohexagonal unit cell is lost for both the host and guest substructures, and that the symmetries of all phases I, II and III are described completely by (3 + 1)-dimensional superspace groups.

Original languageEnglish
Article number56001
JournalEurophysics Letters
Volume116
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2016
Externally publishedYes

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