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Science. 2014 Mar 7;343(6175):1098-102. doi: 10.1126/science.1247252.

Cutting-edge techniques used for the structural investigation of single crystals.

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Chemistry Department Durham University, Durham DH1 3LE, UK.

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  • Science. 2014 Mar 21;343(6177):1313.


X-ray crystallography has become the leading technique for studying the structure of matter at the atomic and molecular level. Today it underpins all sciences and is widely applied in industry. It is essential in the development of new materials. The technique is very powerful, and the range of materials that can be studied expands as new technologies evolve and are applied in innovative ways to structure solution. It is now possible to record vast amounts of diffraction data in seconds electronically, whereas it took days and months by photographic methods 30 to 40 years ago. Single crystals can be created in various ways; they can be produced from compounds that are liquids or gases at room temperature, and complete molecular structures can be presented within minutes. This short review presents recent developments that are appropriate to the single-crystal x-ray studies of chemical and materials sciences.

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