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Twin Displacive Phase Transitions in Amino Acid Quasiracemates

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journal contribution
posted on 2015-04-16, 00:00 authored by Carl Henrik Görbitz, Pavel Karen
Three quasiracemates, l-norleucine:d-methionine, l-norvaline:d-norleucine, and l-norvaline:d-methionine, were crystallized to see how they differ from regular racemates in terms of crystal structure (studied by single-crystal X-ray diffraction) and of thermally induced phase transitions (studied by differential scanning calorimetry). Two types of transitions are detected between 100 and 450 K and structurally characterized: (1) displacive transitions of the molecular bilayers that form the crystal and (2) continuous or discontinuous disordering transitions in the amino acid side chains. Uniquely for the quasiracemates, the displacive transition proceeds in two close steps as only one surface of each molecular bilayer slides at first, upon forming an intermediate phase, while the other surface follows at a slightly higher temperature. Altogether, 18 new single-crystal structure-refinement data sets are reported for these three quasiracemates.

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