Exploring the Stability and Disorder in the Polymorphs of L-Cysteine through Density Functional Theory and Vibrational Spectroscopy

28 March 2023, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


Static and dynamic density functional calculations are reported for the four known polymorphs of L-Cysteine. Static calculations are used to explore the relative free energies (within the harmonic approximation) of the polymorphs as a function of pressure. An important feature of the structural differences between the polymorphs is shown to be the dihedral angle of the C-C-S-H bond. It is shown that by varying this angle it is possible to move between hydrogen bonding motifs S-H...S and S-H...O in all four polymorphs. The energetics for dihedral angle rotation are explored and the barriers for rotation between the hydrogen bonding motifs have been calculated for each polymorph. Two possible models for the experimental disorder observed in Form I at room temperature are explored using both static and dynamic methods; a domain disorder model, where the disorder is localised, and a dispersed disorder model, where the disorder is randomly distributed throughout the crystal. Molecular dynamics calculations show transitions between the two hydrogen bonding motifs occurring in the dispersed disorder model at 300 K and 350 K. In addition, molecular dynamics calculations of Form IV also showed the onset of hydrogen bond disorder at 300 K. Calculations of the predicted infrared and terahertz absorption are performed for both the static and dynamic simulations and the results compared with experiment to understand the influence of disorder on the observed spectra.



Supplementary materials

Exploring the Stability and Disorder in the Polymorphs of L-Cysteine through Density Functional Theory and Vibrational Spectroscopy - Supplementary Information
Supplementary information in particular focussing on computational parameters used and additional calculations to support the main results of the paper

Supplementary weblinks


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