Significant progress in predicting the crystal structures of small organic molecules - a report on the fourth blind test

Graeme M. Day, Timothy G. Cooper, Aurora J. Cruz-Cabeza, Katarzyna E. Hejczyk, Herman L. Ammon, Stephan X. M. Boerrigter, Jeffrey S. Tan, Raffaele G. Della Valle, Elisabetta Venuti, Jovan Jose, Shridhar R. Gadre, Gautam R. Desiraju, Tejender S. Thakur, Bouke P. Van Eijck, Julio C. Facelli, H Victor E. Bazterra, Marta B. Ferraro, Detlef W.M. Hofmann, Marcus A. Neumann, Frank J. J. Leusen, John Kendrick, Sarah L. Price, Alston J. Misquitta, Panagiotis G. Karamertzanis, Gareth W. A. Welch, Harold A. Scheraga, Yelena A. Arnautova, Martin U. Schmidt, Jacco Van De Streek, Alexandra K. Wolf, Bernd Schweizer
Acta Crystallographica Section B, Volume 65, page 107--125 - 2009
We report on the organization and outcome of the fourth blind test of crystal structure prediction, an international collaborative project organized to evaluate the present state in computational methods of predicting the crystal structures of small organic molecules. There were 14 research groups which took part, using a variety of methods to generate and rank the most likely crystal structures for four target systems: three single-component crystal structures and a 1:1 cocrystal. Participants were challenged to predict the crystal structures of the four systems, given only their molecular diagrams, while the recently determined but as-yet unpublished crystal structures were withheld by an independent referee. Three predictions were allowed for each system. The results demonstrate a dramatic improvement in rates of success over previous blind tests; in total, there were 13 successful predictions and, for each of the four targets, at least two groups correctly predicted the observed crystal structure. The successes include one participating group who correctly predicted all four crystal structures as their first ranked choice, albeit at a considerable computational expense. The results reflect important improvements in modelling methods and suggest that, at least for the small and fairly rigid types of molecules included in this blind test, such calculations can be constructively applied to help understand crystallization and polymorphism of organic molecules.

BibTex references

  author       = {Day, G. and Cooper, T. and Cruz-Cabeza, A. and Hejczyk, K. and Ammon, H. and Boerrigter, S. and Tan, J. and Valle, R. and Venuti, E. and Jose, J. and Gadre, S. and Desiraju, G. and Thakur, T. and Eijck, B. and Facelli, J. and Bazterra, H. and Ferraro, M. and Hofmann, D. and Neumann, M. and Leusen, F. and Kendrick, J. and Price, S. and Misquitta, A. and Karamertzanis, P. and Welch, G. and Scheraga, H. and Arnautova, Y. and Schmidt, M. and Streek, J. and Wolf, A. and Schweizer, B.},
  title        = {Significant progress in predicting the crystal structures of small organic molecules - a report on the fourth blind test},
  journal      = {Acta Crystallographica Section B},
  volume       = {65},
  pages        = {107--125},
  year         = {2009},
  keywords     = {Crystal Structure Prediction},
  url          = {},

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