Experimental evidence and theoretical analysis for the chiral symmetry breaking in the growth front of conglomerate crystal phase of 1,1′-binaphthyl

Kouichi Asakura, Raphaël Plasson, Dilip K. Kondepudi

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Chirally asymmetric states, chemical oscillations, propagating chemical waves, and spatial patterns, are examples of far-from-equilibrium self-organization. We have found that the crystal growth front of 1, 1′-binaphthyl shows many of the characteristics of an open system in which chiral symmetry breaking has occurred. From its supercooled molten phase, 1, 1′-binaphthyl crystallizes as a conglomerate of R and S crystals when the temperature is above 145 °C. In addition, 1, 1′-binaphthyl in its molten phase is always racemic due to its high racemization rate. Under appropriate conditions, bimodal probability distribution of enantiomeric excess (ee) with maxima around 60% was observed. The ee was mass independent, indicating that the growth front maintains a constant ee. A kinetic model that theoretically analyzes the chiral symmetry breaking transition in the growth front of a conglomerate crystal phase was formulated. Computer simulation of the model reproduced not only the average but also the large variation of the ee observed in crystallization experiments.

Original languageEnglish
Article number037116
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Jan 1


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Mathematical Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Applied Mathematics

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