Welding Molecular Crystals

Both for fundamental and applied sciences, the design of complex molecular systems in the crystalline phase with strict control of order and periodicity at both microscopic and macroscopic levels is of prime importance for development of new solid-state materials and devices. The design and fabrication of complex crystalline systems as networks of crystals displaying task-specific properties is a step toward smart materials. Here we report on isostructural and almost isometric molecular crystals of different colors, their use for fabrication of core–shell crystals, and their welding by 3D epitaxial growth into networks of crystals as single-crystalline entities. Welding of crystals by self-assembly processes into macroscopic networks of crystals is a powerful strategy for the design of hierarchically organized periodic complex architectures composed of different subdomains displaying targeted characteristics. Crystal welding may be regarded as a first step toward the design of new hierarchically organized complex crystalline systems.