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The Department of Chemistry X-ray Crystallography

Director: Dr. Hemant Yennawar


The Department of Chemistry X-ray Crystallography Facility is part of an Integrated Macromolecular and Small Molecule X-ray Crystallography Facility operated jointly by the Department of Chemistry and the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Crystal growth, structure determination and data analysis of both macromolecular and small molecule samples can be performed at the facility. In addition to analyzing submitted samples, we encourage students to become trained independent users of the facility. Information about the macromolecular facility can be found here.


The facility is located in room 8 of Althouse Laboratory. A campus map can be found here.


The facility houses a Bruker AXS APEX X-ray diffractometer in room 8 Althouse. This instrument is equipted with a 4K CCD detector, a molybdenum sealed-tube X-ray source, an X-ray capillary collimator (MonoCap), and a Rigaku-MSC X-Stream 2000 low temperature device. The X-Stream generates cryogenic nitrogen gas from room air (no dewars!) and allows experiments to be run from 80 - 280 Kelvin. Typically, data collections are run at 90K. The data collection computer has software to run single-crystal experiments (SMART) and general area detector experiments (GADDS).

Samples can be inspected and prepared for data collection using a Leica MZ7.5 10-80X stereomicroscope. The microscope is fitted with a planachromatic objective and cross-polarizing filters. Digital images of samples can be captured using the microscope's integrated CCD video camera.

Data processing and archiving can be performed on an off-line PC workstation using the same software available on the data collection computer. This computer also has access to the Cambridge Structural Database, and can display live video from the stereomicroscope. A color laser printer is also available for high quality graphics output.

Instrument Status

Bruker AXS APEX @ Penn State

View of the APEX.

Current Instrument Status:

All instruments are OK

Sample Submission

Samples must be properly labeled and brought to/submitted in room 8 Althouse laboratory. However, we encourage users to become trained to conduct their own experiments. Training is performed under the supervision of the facility director and the Chemistry faculty, and involves both classroom and laboratory sessions. Before using the diffractometer, approved users must also attend a university-run analytical X-ray safety class.

Click here for the facility rate schedule and publication policy.


A list of links relevant to crystallography and the facility can be found here.

   Copyright ©2005    Department of Chemistry, 104 Chemistry Building, University Park, PA 16802      Tel: 814-865-6553   Fax: 814-865-3314