Mike and Luca, along with a pair of guest editors, recently put together a special issue of the ACS journal Crystal Growth & Design on the topic of Lattice Dynamics. The issue was a roaring success, garnering around 30 articles in this ever-growing area of crystal engineering.

Lattice dynamics are increasingly being shown to be crucial for materials research and discovery. Molecular crystals, once perceived as static and unresponsive, are now at the forefront of scientific exploration due to their dynamic behavior. These materials exhibit an extraordinary ability to adapt to external stimuli like light, heat, and mechanical stress, leading to the emergence of a new research area focused on dynamic crystalline systems. Such systems are now regarded as ideal candidates for developing functional materials with switchable properties ranging from mechanical to electronic, and even magnetic – demonstrating behavior changes from the nanoscale to the macroscopic level.

At the core of this fascinating world is lattice dynamics—the study of atomic, molecular, and collective vibrations within crystals. Although the relationship between these vibrations and the material’s properties is complex, ongoing research aims to unravel these connections, offering new possibilities for material design and application.

This special issue we organized highlights some of the best work in this regard, and we are all very happy with how it turned out. Give it a read!

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