Webpage of the Chemical Crystallography Research Laboratory: www.chemcryst.hu

Research interest

I. Basics of “crystal engineering”: supramolecular interactions, polymorphy, temperature and pressure

Our research group has a long tradition in both supramolecular chemistry and polymorphy studies. Isostruturality indices were introduced, morphotropy was described, and the first examples of morphotropy induced by supramolecular effects were revealed by our group. Combining all these knowledge we show how to fine tune structural properties by gradual chemical change. We demonstrate how the well balanced spatial and electrostatic forces play role in the arrangement of packing motifs in the crystals. Our research interest is extended on supramolecular interactions of one and multicomponent systems under ambient and non-ambient conditions. Performing crystal engineering, e.g. fine tuning of crystal architecture requires the recognition, understanding and application of supramolecular interactions, crystallographic and in case of occurrence, non-crystallographic symmetries. We focus our work on crystal engineering, supramolecular chemistry of one and more component systems of biologically relevant organic molecules, organometallic compounds and metal coordination complexes.

Ongoing projects:

NKFIH K 124544: „A “crystal engineering” alapjai: szupramolekuláris kölcsönhatások, polimorfia, hőmérséklet és nyomás”

Related publications:

  1. Márton Bojtár, András Simon, Petra Bombicz, István Bitter “Expanding the pillararene chemistry: synthesis and application of a 10+1 functionalised pillar[5]arene” Organic Letters(2017) (IF2016: 6.579) 19 (17), 4528–4531 Full text
  2. Petra Bombicz „The way from isostructurality to polymorphy. Where are the borders? The role of supramolecular interactions and crystal symmetries.” Crystallography Reviews, 23(2), 118-151 (2017). (IF: 1.600) Full text
  3. Klára Aradi, Petra Bombicz, Zoltán Novák “Modular Copper-Catalyzed Synthesis of Chromeno[4,3-b]quinolones with the Utilization of Diaryliodonium Salts” Journal of Organic Chemistry, 81, 920-931, 2016. (IF: 4.849) Full text
  4. Resnati G, Boldyreva E, Bombicz P, Kawano M (2015)Supramolecular interactions in the solid state, IUCrJ 2, 675–690 (feature article) (IF: 5.300) Full text
  5. Bombicz P*, Gruber T, Fischer C, Weber E, Kálmán A Fine Tuning Of Crystal Architecture By Intermolecular Interactions: Synthon Engineering CrystEngComm16:(18) Pp. 3646-3654. (2014), Invited Paper, Highlight Paper, Cover Page If: 4.034 Full text


II. Crystallization to create solid state molcular associations

Our goal is to obtain and determine the structures of new polymorphic or isostructural crystal forms of small organic molekules, particularly active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) by single crystal X-ray diffraction and several thermal analytic methods. It includes the development of laboratory crystallization processes to grow single crystals of one- or two-component systems, clathrates, inclusion complexes and co-crystals. Physico-chemical properties can be gradualy modified e.g. solidity that is related to the formulation, solubility that is connected to bioavailability in human body and stability that infulences the durability.

Ongoing projects:

NKFIH K 100801: „A szupramolekuláris kölcsönhatások szerepe egy- és többkomponensű szilárd fázisú rendszerek felépítésében”

MTA Infrastruktúra pályázatok 2014, 2015, 2016

Related publications

  1. Dániel Vajk Horváth, Tamás Holczbauer*, Laura Bereczki, Roberta Palkó, Nóra Veronika May, Tibor Soós, Petra Bombicz“Polymorphism of a porous hydrogen bond assisted ionic organic framework” CrystEngComm (2018) 20, 1779-1782. (Back cover) Full text
  2. Dobi Z, Holczbauer T, Soós T (2015)Strain-Driven Direct Cross-Aldol and -Ketol Reactions of Four-Membered Heterocyclic Ketones, Org. Lett., 17 (11),2634–2637 (IF: 6.364) Full text
  3. Varga E, Mika LT, Csámpai A, Holczbauer T, Kardosa Gy and Soós T (2015)Mechanistic investigations of a bifunctional squaramide organocatalyst in asymmetric Michael reaction and observation of stereoselective retro-Michael reaction, RSC Adv., 5, 95079–95086 (IF: 3.840) Full text

III. Structural investigation of bioactive organic molecules and their metal complexes

In diverse fields of clinical practices, metal complexes of small biomolecule are frequently used as bioactive compounds eg. drugs, imaging agents, or chelators. X-ray diffraction method is one of the most powerful technique for the investigation of single crystals of these organic compounds and their complexes. Though crystallographic method can offer detailed and accurate data on the structure of metal-bioligand complexes, it is limited only for solid states. For these bioactive compounds the knowledge of the speciation, and the most plausible chemical forms, in aqueous solution is mandatory. Electron paramagnetic resoncance (EPR) spectroscopy is able to detect paramagnetic metal complexes in solution equilibrium systems. Such a structural comparison obtained at different phases can disclose interesting features of the intramolecular and intermolecular interactions of the complexes, and reveal possible structural transformations which can be crucial both for their biological functions and pharmaceutical formulations.

Ongoing projects

NKFIH K 115762: “Bioligandumok és funkcionális fémkomplexeinek szerkezetmeghatározása szilárd és oldat fázisban”

NKFIH K 124240: “Rákellenes platinafém és tioszemikarbazon komplexek fejlesztése és vizsgálata”

FWO-MTA Mobilitási Pályázat NKM-94/2018

Related publications

  1. Ferenc Matyuska, Attila Szorcsik, Nóra V. May, Ágnes Dancs, Éva Kováts, Attila Bényei and Tamás Gajda “Tailoring the local environment around metal ions: solution chemical and structural study of some multidentate tripodal ligands” Dalton Trans., 46, 8626-8642 (2017) (IF:4.029) Full text
  2. Eszter Tóth, Nóra V. May, Antal Rockenbauer, Gábor Peintler and Béla Gyurcsik “Exploring the boundaries of direct detection and characterization of labile isomers – a case study of copper(II)–dipeptide systems” Dalton Trans.,46, 8157-8166 (2017) (IF:4.029) Full text
  3. Jelena M. Poljarević, Tamás Gál, Nóra V. May, Gabriella Spengler, Orsolya Dömötör, Aleksandar R. Savić, Sanja Grgurić-Šipka, Éva A. Enyedy “Comparative solution equilibrium and structural studies of half-sandwich ruthenium(II)(η6-toluene) complexes of picolinate derivatives” Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry (2018) 181, 74-85.Full text


  • All major universities in Hungary (Budapest: BUTE, REU, Szeged Univ., Pannon Univ.) and
  • research laboratories from abroad: Austria (Graz), Italy (Parma), Germany (Berlin,Freiberg), USA (El Paso) and the Republic of South Africa (Cape Town).

Educational activities

  • Chemistry Doctoral School (Ph.D.), ELTE
  • Laboratory thesis projects (B.Sc., M.Sc., TDK)
  • Summer technical experience courses


  • Rigaku R-AXIS RAPID image plate diffractometer,
  • X-Stream 2000 low temp unit,
  • Enraf-Nonius turbo CAD-4 diffractometer, stereo microscopes,
  • Cambridge Structural Database Hung. Affiliated Data Center
  • Hot-Stage equipment
  • Differencial Scanning Chalorimeter (DSC)

Measurement possibilities

  • collection of single crystal diffraction data from organic, metal-organic, inorganic and small protein single crystals in the temperature range of -180 – +60 oC degree
  • determination of single crystal structures by direct and charge flipping methods, refinement and interpretation of obtained structural forms
  • collection of diffraction data of instable crystals
  • structural determination of twin crystals and/or crystals with low resolution
  • following solid state chemical reactions by crystallization of intermediate molecules
  • searching possibilities in the Cambridge Structural Database


Petra Bombicz