The Molecular Structure Center, under the direction of Dr. Don Vanderveer, provides the chemistry department with methods of X-ray diffraction analysis, the most reliable and unambiguous means for determining the structure of ordered materials.
The center maintains four separate diffractometer systems for performing both powder and single-crystal diffraction experiments. These include two Rigaku diffractometers. One is a sealed tube system equipped with a CCD area detector; the other has a detector that uses a powerful 18 kW rotating anode source. The center also has a conventional four-circle diffractometer with a sealed tubesource. A Scintag 2000 system with a germanium detector and a seven-position automatic sample changer is used for powder diffraction.
Data processing and analysis are done on numerous PCs running Microsoft Windows and Red Hat Linux. The center has access to many electronic databases, including Cambridge Structural Database, Inorganic Crystal Structure Database, NIST Crystal Data File and Powder Diffraction File.
xray image 2The department regularly offers a graduate course in the principles and applications of X-ray diffraction methods. Undergraduate faculty enhancement workshops in X-ray crystallography are taught during the summer. Students are encouraged to get hands-on experience using the state-of-the-art instrumentation in the laboratory.