The X-ray Crystallography facility offers a complete service for structure solution, refinement and powder diffraction analysis of small molecules, as well as a variety of software for structural analysis and graphics, including the Cambridge Structural Database and CrystalMaker. Low temperature data collection is possible for both single crystal and powder diffraction experiments.
Two single crystal X-ray diffractometers (one Bruker APEX DUO equipped with Mo and Cu sources, and one Bruker X8 APEX equipped with a Mo source)
Two powder X-ray diffractometers (Bruker D8 Advance and Bruker D8 Discover equipped with a GADDS detector).
7 PC workstations available for structure determination and refinement, and powder diffraction analysis.
Research fields we have assisted:
Fuel Cell Research
Mineralogy, Mining, and Earth Science
For X-ray Crystallographic Services: Please contact Dr. Brian Patrick at the Structural Chemistry Facility at UBC for current charges for X-ray crystal structure determination.
Brian Patrick, Ph.D Tel: (604) 822-4865 Fax: (604) 822-2847 Email:
How to keep the Crystallographer happy; some general rules and advice:
Avoid submitting a polycrystalline mass of solid material. The sample should consist of carefully grown single crystals. A crystal is defined by straight edges and plane faces (see any crystallography text for further information). If your sample does not have the prerequisite morphology, the crystallographer would be happy to look at it, but keep in mind that you may have to recrystallize it. Crystals used in the diffraction experiment are typically no larger than 0.5 x 0.5 x 0.5 mm in each direction. X-ray quality crystals that are larger in dimension are cut by the crystallographer to a suitable size. Very small crystals can also be submitted to the crystallographer, but these samples may be too weakly scattering. In such cases, recrystallization to obtain larger crystals may be necessary if the diffraction experiment fails.
Avoid submitting impure material. X-ray quality crystals should be grown purposely, and should not usually be derived from purification or characterization attempts (e.g. crystals coming from NMR tubes is discouraged).
If crystals do not grow from one solvent, try another. Be aware that growing crystals from certain solvents may result in crystals containing disordered solvent, and this may impede the structure determination.
Please ensure that the sample is sufficiently characterized by other methods so that its chemical formula is mostly correct. One of the most common mistakes is the submission of a material that is not what the chemist thinks it is .
Devise a numbering scheme for the proposed molecule prior to sample submission, and include this numbering scheme with the submission form.
Submitting air stable crystals in small sample vials is preferred, but not necessary. Samples submitted in round-bottomed flasks or other glassware that impedes optical examination and microscopic manipulation of the crystals are not preferred.Ê Air-sensitive materials can be submitted in any type of container.
Evaporation of samples to dryness during recrystallization may result in the crystals adhering to the walls of the container. This may increase the likelihood that the crystals are crushed when the crystallographer attempts to isolate potential specimens.
Remember the old crystallographic saying: Garbage In = Garbage Out