Skip to Content

X-Ray Facilities and Capabilities

An X-ray machine in the Molecular Structure Center, which provides several methods of X-ray diffraction analysisThe Molecular Structure Center, under the direction of Dr. Colin McMillen, serves the Department of Chemistry by providing several methods of X-ray diffraction analysis, the most reliable and unambiguous means for determining the structure of ordered materials.

The center features a Bruker D8 Venture dual source (Mo and Cu) single crystal diffractometer.  The high-flux microfocus X-ray tubes and sensitive Photon 100 CMOS detector allow data acquisition and high-throughput structural analysis of inorganic, organic, organometallic, MOF, and solid-state crystals. Data collection can be performed under ambient conditions, or utilizing an inert nitrogen atmosphere from 100-400 K.  

Powder X-ray diffraction analysis can be performed using the center's Rigaku Ultima IV diffractometer. This system uses a Cu sealed tube source to assist in phase identification, crystallinity, and particle size evaluations, among other analyses. This diffractometer features a ten sample automatic changer to allow multiple samples to be run consecutively.

The center provides access to the Cambridge Structural Database, the Inorganic Crystal Structure Database, and the Powder Diffraction File.  The Department of Chemistry regularly offers a graduate course and laboratory on the applications of X-ray diffraction methods, as well as various workshops to supplement other coursework or student and faculty research interests.

Dr. McMillen is happy to provide assistance in data collection, data interpretation, structure determination, and manuscript preparation, as well as training for new users.

Students are encouraged to get hands-on experience using the state-of-the-art instrumentation in the laboratory.

Rendering of sample structures