Journal of Chemical Crystallography

, Volume 44, Issue 8, pp 387–393 | Cite as

Ferroelectricity of Phenazine–Chloranilic Acid at \(T = 100\) K

  • Leila Noohinejad
  • Swastik Mondal
  • Alexander Wölfel
  • Sk Imran Ali
  • Andreas Schönleber
  • Sander van Smaalen
Original Paper


The co-crystal of phenazine (Phz) and chloroanilic acid \((\hbox {H}_{2}\hbox {ca})\) is ferroelectric below the temperature \(T_{c}^I = 253\) K (FE-I phase). Upon cooling, two more phase transitions involve a further reduction of symmetry, until Phz-H\(_{2}\)ca is triclinic in the second ferroelectric phase (FE-II phase) stable below \(T_{c}^{II} =\)  137 K. Ferroelectricity in all low-temperature phases is believed to be related to partial proton transfer within the hydrogen bonds between the molecules Phz and \(\hbox {H}_{2}\hbox {ca}\). Here we present the crystal structure of the FE-II phase at \(T = 100\) K. Experimental positions of hydrogen atoms indicate that ferroelectricity is mainly governed by half of the hydrogen-bonded chains, whereby proton transfer is observed within one of the two hydrogen bonds in which each molecule participates. A simple point charge model quantitatively reproduces the polarisation of this material. However, a possible contribution to the polarisation is proposed of the O–H\(\cdots\)N hydrogen bonds of the second half of the mixed chains, which show elongated O–H bonds similar to those in the FE-I phase. The twofold superstructure with \(P1\) symmetry was successfully solved as commensurately modulated structure employing the monoclinic superspace group \(P2_{1}(1/2\,\sigma _{2}\, 1/2)0\). The latter shows that the distortions at low temperatures follow a single normal mode of the space group \(P2_{1}\) of the FE-I phase, and it thus explains that the direction of the polarisation remains close to the monoclinic axis, despite the lowering towards triclinic symmetry.

Graphical Abstract

Ferroelectricity below Tc(II) = 137 K is governed by proton transfer from O to N atoms within one quarter of the O–H⋯N hydrogen bonds, together with elongation of the O–H bonds within a second quarter of hydrogen bonds.


Ferroelectricity Hydrogen bond X-ray diffraction 



Single crystals were grown by Alfred Suttner at the Laboratory of Crystallography in Bayreuth. We thank Carsten Paulman for assistance during the experiment at beamline F1 of Hasylab at DESY in Hamburg, Germany. The research of L. N. has been made possible through financial support by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leila Noohinejad
    • 1
  • Swastik Mondal
    • 1
  • Alexander Wölfel
    • 1
  • Sk Imran Ali
    • 1
  • Andreas Schönleber
    • 1
  • Sander van Smaalen
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of CrystallographyUniversity of BayreuthBayreuthGermany

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