Flexible ferroelectric organic crystals

Magdalena Owczarek, Karl A. Hujsak, Daniel P. Ferris, Aleksandrs Prokofjevs, Irena Majerz, Przemyså Aw Szklarz, Huacheng Zhang, Amy A. Sarjeant, Charlotte L. Stern, Ryszard Jakubas, Seungbum Hong*, Vinayak P. Dravid, J. Fraser Stoddart

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

153 Scopus citations


Flexible organic materials possessing useful electrical properties, such as ferroelectricity, are of crucial importance in the engineering of electronic devices. Up until now, however, only ferroelectric polymers have intrinsically met this flexibility requirement, leaving small-molecule organic ferroelectrics with room for improvement. Since both flexibility and ferroelectricity are rare properties on their own, combining them in one crystalline organic material is challenging. Herein, we report that trisubstituted haloimidazoles not only display ferroelectricity and piezoelectricity-the properties that originate from their non-centrosymmetric crystal lattice-but also lend their crystalline mechanical properties to fine-tuning in a controllable manner by disrupting the weak halogen bonds between the molecules. This element of control makes it possible to deliver another unique and highly desirable property, namely crystal flexibility. Moreover, the electrical properties are maintained in the flexible crystals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number13108
JournalNature communications
StatePublished - Oct 13 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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