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About the Project

crystals seen under a microscopeCrystallisation in the Real World: Delivering Control through Theory and Experiment’ is a 5-year, £5.4 Million research programme funded by the EPSRC that started in March 2018. It includes three experimental groups and five modelling groups who come from the Universities of Leeds (both Chemical Engineering and Chemistry), Sheffield, Warwick and UCL.  The aim of our project is to develop new ways to control crystallisation, where we are combining cutting-edge experiments, characterisation and simulations to understand the mechanisms that determine how inorganic crystals nucleate and grow.

Crystallisation is by any measure a fascinating phenomenon. However, it is only now that we have the instrumental and theoretical tools required to really begin to understand the dynamic, molecular-scale processes that underlie nucleation and growth. By coupling modelling methods that address length-scales, time-scales and environments relevant to real-world conditions with carefully designed multi-scale experiments that range from the intentionally simple to cutting-edge, we are investigating the nanoscale changes that occur in the solid and solution during crystallisation.


This new understanding holds the key to generating crystal polymorphs by simply tuning the reaction conditions, or pre-selecting soluble additives that can generate particles with desired sizes and shapes. It will enable us to design surfaces that can encourage or inhibit crystal growth – where and when we want it – or to select particles that can promote nucleation, possibly even of a specific polymorph. These new skills then find multiple applications in sectors ranging from the Chemical Industry to Environment, Healthcare, Formulated Products, Oil and Gas, Water, Mining and Advanced Materials.

Crystallisation in the Real World: One Day Symposium

We held a one-day symposium at the University of Leeds on Friday 12 January 2024 to bring together researchers with interests in all areas of crystallisation. As part of the event, we held a panel discussion which convened a diverse group of experts to delve into the complexities, challenges, and advancements in industrial crystallisation.

AGM 18-20 September 2023

Our Annual General Meeting for 2023 was held at Weetwood Hall in Leeds from 18 to 20 September.

Microscience Microscopy Congress 2023

Members of the project team from University of Leeds recently attended this year's Microscience Microscopy Congress (MMC 2023) in Manchester.

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