Last semester, the chemistry department installed a single crystal X-ray diffractometer for students to use in the lab and for research. This state-of-the-art equipment will allow researchers to analyze the crystal structure and properties of cells and to fully determine the actual location of every tiny atom in a compound. By understanding the structure, the researcher can then make predictions about the properties and possible real-world applications of these materials.
Students have already begun using the diffractometer, and more students will get a chance this semester in the new Introduction to X-Ray Crystallography class.
While fairly common at large research universities, single crystal X-ray diffractometers are still rare at undergraduate institutions.
“With the addition of the single-crystal XRD to our other chemical instrumentation,” says assistant chemistry professor Janet Hunting, “our students will now be even more prepared for excellence in graduate school and the real-world.”
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