Photoluminescent Ferroelastic Molecular Crystals
Ferroelasticity has been reported for several types of molecular crystals, which show mechanical‐stress‐induced shape change under twinning and/or spontaneous formation of strain. Aiming to create materials that exhibit both ferroelasticity and light‐emission characteristics, we discovered the first examples of ferroelastic luminescent organometallic crystals. Crystals of arylgold(I)(N‐heterocyclic carbene)(NHC) complexes bend upon exposure to anisotropic mechanical stress. X‐ray diffraction analyses and stress‐strain measurements on these ferroelastic crystals confirmed typical ferroelastic behavior, mechanical twinning, and the spontaneous build‐up of strain. A comparison with single‐crystal structures of related gold‐NHC complexes that do not show ferroelasticity shed light on the structural origins of the ferroelastic behavior.