Crystallization Mechanisms Study by Electron Microscopy

How does order form?  Organic crystal nucleation and growth are complex self-assembly processes that often do not fit into the framework of existing crystallization theories. We investigate these processes using advanced electron microscopy techniques in combination with diffraction methods and plethora of spectroscopic techniques.

We approach the question by trying to probe the transformation from amorphous aggregates into crystalline matter . In addition to employing traditional EM methods, we enhance our capabilities to answer our research questions by developing new methodologies, such as low dose focal series reconstruction and novel electron diffraction methods.

Our sub-molecular insights enable elucidating complex pathways of organic crystallization. The latter involves a series of coordinated supramolecular transformations at multiple scales. This new understanding provides a long-sought insight into order evolution in organic matter.


Biran, Idan; Houben, Lothar; Weismann, Haim; Hildebrand, Mariana; Kronik, Leeor; Rybtchinski, Boris. (2022). Real‐Space Crystal Structure Analysis by Low‐Dose Focal‐Series TEM Imaging of Organic Materials with Near‐Atomic Resolution. Advanced Materials, 2202088.

Exit plane wave function phase image of a new CuPc polymorph, solved by LD-FSR TEM and DFT calculations.


Tsarfati, Yael*; Biran, Idan*; Wiedenbeck, Eduard.; Houben, Lothar; Colfen, Helmut.; Rybtchinski, Boris. (2021). Continuum Crystallization Model Derived from Pharmaceutical Crystallization Mechanisms. ACS central science, 7(5), 900-908.

Crystal nucleation and growth of Ibuprofen and Etoricoxib


Houben, Lothar; Weissman, Haim; Wolf, Sharon G; Rybtchinski, Boris (2020). A Mechanism of Ferritin Crystallization Revealed by Cryo-STEM Tomography. Nature, 579(7800), 540-543.

Methodological approach for the 3D characterization of ferritin crystallization.


Shahar, Chen; Dutta, Sounak; Weissman, Haim; Shimon, Linda J W; Ott, Holger; Rybtchinski, Boris (2016). Precrystalline Aggregates Enable Control over Organic Crystallization in Solution.  Angewandte Chemie - International Edition. 55:179-82.


Kossoy, E; Weissman, H; Rybtchinski, B (2015). Bending Nanofibers into Nanospirals: Coordination Chemistry as a Tool for Shaping Hydrophobic Assemblies.  Chemistry-A European Journal. 21:166-176.


Tidhar, Y; Weissman, H; Wolf, SG; Gulino, A; Rybtchinski, B (2011). Pathway-Dependent Self-Assembly of Perylene Diimide/Peptide Conjugates in Aqueous Medium.  Chemistry-A European Journal. 17:6068-6075