Anisotropic surface energetics and wettability of macroscopic form I paracetamol crystals

Jerry Y.Y. Heng, Alexander Bismarck, Adam F. Lee, Karen Wilson, Daryl R. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Advancing (θA) and receding (θR) contact angles were measured with several probe liquids on the external facets (201), (001), (011), and (110) of macroscopic form I paracetamol crystals as well as the cleaved (internal) facet (010). For the external crystal facets, dispersive surface energies γd calculated from the contact angles were found to be similar (34 ± 1 mJ/m2), while the polar components varied significantly. Cleaving the crystals exposed a more apolar (010) surface with very different surface properties, including γd = 45 ± 1 mJ/m2. The relative surface polarity (γp/γ) of the facets in decreasing order was (001) > (011) > (201) > (110) > (010), which agreed with the fraction of exposed polar hydroxyl groups as determined from C and O 1s X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) spectra, and could be correlated with the number of non-hydrogen-bonded hydroxyl groups per unit area present for each crystal facet, based on the known crystal structures. In conclusion, all facets of form I paracetamol crystals examined exhibited anisotropic wetting behavior and surface energetics that correlated to the presence of surface hydroxyl groups. 
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2760-2769
Number of pages10
Issue number6
Early online date18 Feb 2006
Publication statusPublished - 14 Mar 2006


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