The UCSD Crystallography Facility was established by the Division of Physical SciencesDepartment of Chemistry and Biochemistry to accommodate the local demand for analytical crystallography and to provide high-precision, small-molecule structure determinations for organic and inorganic compounds for industry, academic and government laboratories.  The laboratory also conducts inter-disciplinary research and teaches crystallography to students, faculty and industry researchers.

Overseen by Dr. Arnold L. Rheingold, the facility has both expertise with structure analysis of organic and inorganic compounds and the state-of-the-art instrumentation to handle all aspects of crystal structure analysis from data collection to structure solution and refinement and presentation.

Why Crystallography?    

Chemical crystallography is the determination of solid-state structure of a molecule by an X-ray diffraction experiment on a single crystal. A crystal is oriented in a particular diffracting position by an instrument known as a diffractometer.

Function follows structure: For instance, the knowledge of accurate molecular structures is a prerequisite for rational drug design and for structure-based functional studies to aid the development of effective therapeutic agents and drugs. Crystallography can reliably provide the answer to many structure related questions, from details of intramolecular bonding to an examination of lattice construction. 

In contrast to more indirect spectroscopic method such as NMR, no size limitation exists for the molecule or complex to be studied. With NMR techniques compounds must be soluble. 

When you absolutely, positively have to know exactly what it is….

• Single-crystal X-ray crystallography is the only unambiguous method for total molecular characterization
• You get the complete, unambiguous identification of the compound
• You know the exact connectivity of the atoms in the compound
• You get bond distances and angles
• You get a picture of inter- and intramolecular interactions
• You can get unambiguous determination of absolute stereochemistry (chiral molecules)
• With good enough data you can see hydrogens


X-ray Crystallography Advances

Recent advances in the instrumentation for small-molecule X-ray crystallography have made it possible to complete a full structural characterization of a new material in a few hours, at low cost and with less ambiguity than any other structured characterizational method currently available.