The Hollingsworth Research Laboratory
My research is in the area of solid state organic chemistry, which lies at the interface between physical organic chemistry and materials science. This is a rapidly emerging discipline that combines the creative power of organic synthesis with physical, spectroscopic and structural studies of macroscopic crystals. Although I have broad interests in many areas of chemistry, our current research program is concerned with two main themes: (1) understanding, predicting and controlling the three dimensional structures and shapes of organic crystals, and (2) understanding, predicting and controlling the response of crystalline solids to perturbative stresses, including photochemical bond cleavage, high electric fields, intense laser fields (NLO), and external anisotropic stresses. Many of the studies involve organic inclusion compounds because it is a relatively straightforward matter to change the guest identity, host-guest stoichiometry, relative populations of guests in solid solutions, or solvent of crystallization while keeping the host structure more or less constant. Although we are mindful of possible applications of the systems that we study, our approach is much more fundamental than applied as we use organic crystals to ask and answer important questions about molecular recognition and about collective and long-range interactions in crystals. We are pursuing these goals by utilizing a variety of chemical and physical methods, including organic synthesis, crystal engineering and growth, solid state NMR, single crystal EPR, videomicroscopy, and optical spectroscopy, as well as several types of diffraction and scattering.