A co-crystal between benzene and ethane: a potential evaporate material for Saturn’s moon Titan
Journal article, 2016

Using synchrotron X-ray powder diffraction, the structure of a co-crystal between benzene and ethane formed in situ at cryogenic conditions has been determined, and validated using dispersion-corrected density functional theory calculations. The structure comprises a lattice of benzene molecules hosting ethane molecules within channels. Similarity between the intermolecular interactions found in the co-crystal and in pure benzene indicate that the C—H⋯π network of benzene is maintained in the co-crystal, however, this expands to accommodate the guest ethane molecules. The co-crystal has a 3:1 benzene:ethane stoichiometry and is described in the space group [R\bar 3] with a = 15.977 (1) Å and c = 5.581 (1) Å at 90 K, with a density of 1.067 g cm−3. The conditions under which this co-crystal forms identify it is a potential that forms from evaporation of Saturn's moon Titan's lakes, an evaporite material.



synchrotron powder diffraction

molecular crystallography



Helen E. Maynard-Casely

Robert, Hodyss

Morgan, L. Cable

Tuan Hoang Vu


2052-2525 (eISSN)

Vol. 3 doi:10.1107/ S2052252516002815-

Subject Categories

Physical Chemistry

Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology

Theoretical Chemistry

Organic Chemistry



More information