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X-Ray Diffraction Laboratory

X-ray crystal structure determination is an important technique for most inorganic and organic chemists. The X-ray Diffraction Laboratory at UM St. Louis supports the research programs of several research groups in the department. Also, we collaborate with a number of groups elsewhere in the USA and in other countries in their solid-state structure determination research. The Laboratory is equipped with state-of-the-art instrumentation and computational facilities for solid state three dimensional crystal and molecular structure determinations. The facility is located in custom-designed laboratory space in the Center for Nanoscience, opened in November 1996, and currently houses single crystal and powder diffractometers.

For more information please contact Dr. Nigam Rath at (314) 516-5333 or by email:


The Bruker APEX II Kappa Dffractometer is equipped with an Oxford Cryostream low temperature device. Fast data collections can be carried out using this Kappa geometry diffractometer equipped with a 4K CCD (Charge Coupled Device) chip at 100-300K. This instrument uses a sealed tube Mo x-ray source. Currently, most of the structure determinations are carried out using this system.


A Rigaku Ultima IV Powder Diffractometer is used primarily for bulk material characterization, including air- and moisture-sensitive samples. This provides a valuable analytical tool for the identification of single and multi-component solids by comparison with known published powder patterns. It is also used to determine the homogeneity of crystalline samples from which single crystals have been used for crystal structure determination. This instrument is also capable of data collection for small angle x-ray scattering (SAXS) experiments.


The X-ray Laboratory Computing Facility has several workstations running crystallographic software. All computers in the lab are integrated with the university computer network. The Cambridge Structural Database is available to all students, faculty and staff for their teaching and research projects.

The sample preparation laboratory is equipped with stereo microscopes with digital video capabilities for screening and mounting crystals; fume hood, refrigerator and freezer for crystallization and sample storage, together with other necessary facilities for crystallization and crystal handling.