The separation of racemic crystals into enantiomers by chiral block copolymers

Yitzhak Mastai, Miloš Sedlák, Helmut Cölfen, Markus Antonietti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


A series of chiral double hydrophilic block copolymers (DHBCs) was synthesized and employed as additives in the crystallization of calcium tartrate tetrahydrate (CaT). We found that appropriate polymers can slow down the formation of the thermodynamically most stable racemic crystals as well as the formation of one of the pure enantiomeric crystals so that chiral separation by crystallization occurs even when racemic crystals can be formed. In addition, the presence of DHBCs results in major modifications of crystal morphology, creating unusual morphologies of higher complexity. Our study demonstrates the potential application of chiral DHBCs in the control of chirality throughout crystallization, in particular for racemic crystal systems, and also shows that enantiomeric excess of one enantiomer can be maximized by the kinetic control of crystallization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2429-2437
Number of pages9
JournalChemistry - A European Journal
Issue number11
StatePublished - 3 Jun 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Calcium
  • Chiral resolution
  • Crystal growth
  • Hydrophilic block copolymers
  • Polymers


Dive into the research topics of 'The separation of racemic crystals into enantiomers by chiral block copolymers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this