Surface-Mediated Nucleation in the Solid-State Polymorph Transformation of Terephthalic Acid

A molecular mechanism for nucleation for the solid-state polymorph transformation of terephthalic acid is presented. New methods recently developed in our group, aimless shooting and likelihood maximization, are employed to construct a model for the reaction coordinate for the two system sizes studied. The reaction coordinate approximation is validated using the committor probability analysis. The transformation proceeds via a localized, elongated nucleus along the crystal edge formed by fluctuations in the supramolecular synthons, suggesting a nucleation and growth mechanism in the macroscopic system.