X-ray Crystallography: Determination of molecular structures by X-ray crystallographic methods.
The technique of single-crystal X-ray crystallography can be used to determine the detailed molecular structure of chemical compounds. Because this is a completely general method, it can be applied to almost any compound of chemical interest, and is thus an important tool in many different areas of research. The determination of a substance's structure by X-ray methods involves several steps, including 1) preparation of suitable crystals for study, 2) preliminary X-ray investigation for the determination of crystal quality and lattice type, 3) collection of high accuracy intensity data on an automated X-ray diffractometer, and 4) reduction and analysis of the data utilizing high-speed computers.
Structure determinations are carried out on compounds of interest in a variety of research endeavors; the particular compounds studied often depend on the immediate research interests of faculty colleagues. Compounds recently studied include templates for the synthesis of chiral organic compounds, and both mononuclear and polymeric transition metal complexes.