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Chemical / small molecule crystallography

Chemical / small molecule crystallography

Determine the three dimensional structure of molecules

Chemical or small molecule crystallography is a technique that employs single crystal X-ray diffraction (SCX) to unambiguously determine the three-dimensional structure of molecules. When molecules crystalize (think sugar) they form a three-dimensional regular arrangement of molecules. X-rays are diffracted by crystals and the diffraction pattern so created can be measured and analyzed to determine the atomic arrangements within the molecule being studied.  The technique provides accurate and precise measurements of molecular dimensions in a way that no other method can approach. The technique may be applied to compounds of both chemical and biological interest, including new synthetic chemicals, catalysts, pharmaceuticals, and natural products. A frequent use is the identification of natural products, or of the products of synthetic chemistry experiments; however, detailed molecular geometry, intermolecular interactions and absolute configuration can also be studied. Some of the important information that can be derived from this technique include:

  • Molecular structure and geometry
  • Absolute structure and configuration
  • Structural changes that occur at non-ambient conditions
  • Structural changes that occur in a high-pressure environment
  • Charge density distribution
  • Intermolecular interactions
  • Polymorph characterization for pharmaceutical compounds


    Small Molecule

    A benchtop single crystal X-ray diffractometer ideal for self-service crystallography and teaching.

    Our most popular diffractometer for chemical crystallography, configured with either single or dual microfocus sealed tube X-ray sources and an extremely low noise direct X-ray detection detector.

    A new and fully integrated electron diffractometer for measuring submicron crystals, utilizing a seamless workflow from data collection to structure determination of crystal structures

    An extremely high-flux rotating anode X-ray diffractometer specifically configured for measuring difficult samples.

    A dual-wavelength, extremely high-flux, rotating anode X-ray diffractometer specifically configured for measuring difficult samples as well as providing versatility through multiple wavelengths.

    A modern single crystal X-ray diffractometer for structural analysis of small molecule samples configured with microfocus sealed tube technology and a direct X-ray detection detector.

    A bespoke, extremely high-flux diffractometer with custom enclosure and the flexibility to utilize both ports of the rotating anode X-ray source.

    User-inspired data collection and data processing software for small molecule and protein crystallography

    Robotic sample changer to provide unattended data acquisition, enhanced productivity and standardized workflow to your research environment.

    The smallest detachable motorized goniometer head on the market


    A unique curved single crystal X-ray diffraction detector based on direct X-ray detection technology with the highest 2θ range at a single position available for the home lab.

    Extremely low noise, air-cooled X-ray detector based on direct X-ray detection technology.

    Extremely low noise, compact, air-cooled X-ray detector based on direct X-ray detection technology.


    High-resolution X-ray detectors for X-ray diffractometers from DECTRIS

    Automated crystal transport, orientation and retrieval robot