Developments in advanced analytical techniques, molecular recognition probes and computational methodologies are beginning to provide insight into how molecules interact in solution, aggregate and, ultimately, form crystals. Together with studies in different phases, in confined systems, on surfaces and with impurities, this will improve our understanding of crystallization processes. The EU plays host to recognised global leaders in different aspects of crystallization which, if brought together, will be in a unique position to drive the molecular understanding of the crystallization process.
Crystal Engineering has advanced so that there is understanding of the supramolecular interactions in molecular solids. The next step is to fully understand structure/function relationships in order to custom design new materials for specific applications. European researchers need to embrace this new paradigm in materials design, combine it with the developing insights into the crystallization processes, and exploit both of these to control crystallization processes with increased product yield and purity, and also reduced environmental impact and cost.
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