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Instructor: Chun-Hsing (Josh) Chen

Time and Location:
Lecture: TBA
Laboratory: Caudill Lab 042

The course “Introduction to Chemical Crystallography” (3 cr.) is intended for graduate students who wish to acquire a basic understanding of crystallography, the mathematical foundations of diffraction principles, the hands-on experience in the operation of X-ray diffractometers, computer software for crystal structure determination and visualization, as well as crystallographic databases. The goal of the course is to prepare students to independently operate diffractometers and carry out X-ray structure determinations for their Ph.D. or M.S. theses. No prior knowledge of crystallography is required, but students are required to pass the radiation safety exam in the first week of the course.

The theory portion of the course (lecture) will introduce principles of diffraction, point and space group symmetry, reciprocal space, data reduction and absorption corrections, direct and Patterson methods for structure solution, structure refinement, visualization and interpretation, as well as advanced topics such as absolute structure determination, disorder, non-crystallographic symmetry, twinning, and phase transitions.

For the application, students will learn how to design crystallographic experiments from sample preparation and the measurement of diffraction data using the instrumentation available at the Department of Chemistry X-ray Core Laboratory (XCL), to structure solution, refinement, structural interpretation and disorder modeling. Students will also be introduced to common crystallographic software and databases.

Students will be evaluated via class and laboratory participation, homework, quizzes, and a final project. There will be no final exam. The final project will consist of a structure determination of a sample that may or may not be from the student’s own research project and the preparation of a manuscript for publication in Acta Crystallographica Section C: Crystal Structure Communications or a similar journal.