X-ray Crystallography Laboratory

Manager:  Bob McDonald (
Office:  E3-13 Chemistry Centre
Phone:  (780) 492-2485

The X-ray Crystallography Laboratory (XCL) provides single-crystal X-ray crystallographic services to the Department. Data are collected using (a) a Bruker D8 Duo diffractometer / SMART APEX II CCD area detector system equipped with two radiation sources (Cu microsource and and Mo sealed-tube) or (b) a Bruker PLATFORM diffractometer equipped with a SMART APEX II CCD area detector and a sealed-tube (Mo) source. Crystal samples are usually cooled under a cold nitrogen stream during data collection in order to enhance data quality and to protect sensitive samples from decomposition.

Structures are normally fully solved and refined by the staff crystallographers (Drs. Michael Ferguson and Robert McDonald), with full structure reports (tables of experimental parameters, atomic coordinates, interatomic distances and angles, and structural diagrams) being supplied to the researcher(s).

The crystallographers are available for consultation when structural material is to be published, and they will gladly assist in the preparation of publication-ready material (tables, descriptions, diagrams, Crystallographic Information Files [CIF's]) as required by the journal of interest.

Some research groups with their own crystallographic computing resources use data collected by the facility to solve and refine their own structures. The facility also offers departmental clients access to the Cambridge Structural Database of well over 800,000 organic and organometallic structures.