Edkins, K.; McIntyre, G.J.; Wilkinson, C.; Kahlenberg, V.; Többens, D.; Griesser, U.; Brüning, J.; Schmidt, M.U.; Steed, J.W.: Extensive Sequential Polymorphic Interconversion in the Solid State: Two Hydrates and Ten Anhydrous Phases of Hexamidine Diisethionate. Crystal Growth & Design 19 (2019), p. 7280-7289

Crystal polymorphism and solvent inclusion are a dominant research area in the pharmaceutical industry and continue to unveil complex systems. Here, we present the solid-state system of hexamidine diisethionate (HDI), an antiseptic drug compound forming a dimorphic dihydrate as well as 10 anhydrous polymorphs. The X-ray and neutron crystal structures of the hydrated crystal forms and related interaction energies show no direct interaction between the cation and water but very strong interactions between cation and anion, and anion and water. This is observed macroscopically as high stability of the hydrate against dehydration by temperature and humidity. The anhydrous polymorphs reveal a rare case of sequential and reversible polymorphic transformations, which are characterized by thermal analysis and variable-temperature powder X-ray diffraction. While most transitions are accompanied by significant structural changes, the low-energy transitions can only be detected as slight changes in the reflection positions with temperature. HDI thus represents a model compound to investigate polymorphic transitions with small structural changes.