The ecstasy and the agony; compression studies of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA)

L. E. Connor, A. Delori, I. B. Hutchison, N. Nic Daeid, O. B. Sutcliffe, I. D. H. Oswald (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine) is a Class A substance that is usually found in a tableted form. It is only observed in one orthorhombic polymorph under ambient conditions. It shows slight positional disorder around the methlyenedioxy ring which persists during compression up to 6.66 GPa. The crystal quality deteriorates above 6.66 GPa where the hydrostatic limit of the pressure-transmitting medium is exceeded. The structure undergoes anisotropic compression with the a-axis compressing the greatest (12% cf. 4 and 10% for the b- and c-axes, respectively). This is due to the pattern of the hydrogen bonding which acts like a spring and allows the compression along this direction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-9
Number of pages7
JournalActa Crystallographica Section B: Structural Science, Crystal Engineering and Materials
Issue number1
Early online date20 Jan 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2015


  • compression
  • ecstasy
  • entactogen
  • MDMA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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