Dec 232015

ecrislaThe 3rd Edition of the School of Crystallisation and Crystallography for Latin America organised by Prof. Carlos Campos was held in December in Florianópolis, Brazil. The quiet setting in a monastery south of the main centre of Florianópolis provided ideal conditions for an intensive week of crystallography lectures, posters and discussions. Richard Cooper attended to lecture on crystallographic modelling and structure solution methods.

Feb 032015

crystal_vs_notAnnotated articles are based on research from a range of Royal Society of Chemistry journals that has been re-written into a standard, accessible format.

An annotated article on predicting and controlling the crystallinity of molecular materials by Jerome Wicker and Richard Cooper aims to help readers to understand the research the journal article is based on, and how to read and understand journal articles. Our research article was originally published in CrystEngComm.

Nov 242013

seville-orangesThe annual Masters in Crystallography and Crystallization is organised by Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo, La Factoría de Cristalización, and CSIC (the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Scientificas). The core module of the course is hosted during October and November in Seville. Richard Cooper from Chem Cryst gave lectures and a workshop for two days on crystallographic structure solution through charge-flipping (based on Pr. Chapuis’ course material) and the mathematics and practicalities of structure refinement.

Mar 122013

The Big Bang Fair is a free educational event open to visiting school groups that happens in March every year moving round the country. It works with partner organisations across business and industry, government and academia to try and give a flavour of the real scale of engineering and science in the UK, aimed at showing young people (primarily aged 7-19) just how many exciting and rewarding opportunities there are out there for them with the right experience and qualifications.

This year the Big Bang Fair is being held in the London, ExCeL Arena, 14th-17th March. Since 2013 is the Bragg centenary, STFC have very kindly funded a stand at this year’s fair, which will be totally dedicated to crystallography. The BCA, Diamond Light Source, ISIS and STFC have worked together to develop the stand designed to tell everyone how great crystallography is through the medium of hands on activities, lasers, and sweets. The fair is expecting 75,000 people (mostly children) through the doors over the course of four days, so Andrew Cairns, Josh Hill, Nick Funnell, Mike Glazer, George Pidgeon, Karim Sutton and Amber Thompson are all going along from Oxford to help out. Here are some photos of the first day.

Lego Beamline

Two crystallographers check the interlocks on the Lego Beamline

You are never too young to learn about packing...

You are never too young to learn about packing…

...especially when there's sweets involved!

…especially when there’s sweets involved!

Teaching physicists chemistry

Teaching physicists chemistry

George demonstrates the Lego Beamline

George demonstrates the Lego Beamline

Smelly molecules

Smelly molecules

Demonstrating Fourier transforms takes concentration

Demonstrating Fourier transforms takes concentration

Growing a crystal, one marble at a time

Growing a crystal, one marble at a time

Protein crystals ar

Protein crystals are beautiful

The Crystallography stand at the Big Bang

The Crystallography stand at the Big Bang


The Big Bang Logo

Mar 302011

Rowena ScottIn-situ Diamond RingNot content with showing off the eye-catching brilliance of her new diamond engagement ring, final year Inorganic Chemistry student Rowena Scott wanted to reveal the beautiful symmetry of its atomic structure. She recorded an X-ray diffraction pattern from the diamond using one of the Chemistry Department’s new state of the art, SuperNova dual source X‑ray diffractometers.

Rowena’s current research project with Dr Simon Clarke involves the synthesis of iron chalcogenide superconductors. The structures of these materials are then determined using single crystal X-ray diffraction techniques.

Chemical Crystallography Service manager, Dr Amber Thompson said “We see a wide range of materials of varying crystallinity from many research groups in the Department of Chemistry, usually grown at the bottom of glass schlenks or flasks; it’s not often that such a lovely crystal turns up mounted in a band of gold”.

Diffraction pattern of the diamondThe diffracted X-rays were measured while rotating the diamond in an X-ray beam. The resulting diffraction pattern shows the position and intensity of the beams diffracted by the organised structure of carbon atoms in the crystal. The white rings overlaid on the image indicate the angles at which diamond peaks are expected to occur, which agree with the collected data.

Diamond diffracts X-rays so efficiently that the X-ray generator had to be run at 10% of its usual power in order to avoid overloading the X-ray detector.

Nov 162010

Congratulations to Dr David Watkin who received an award under the Oxford Teaching Awards scheme for excellence in teaching as attested by student feedback and with the support of the department. He received a certificate presented by Professor Andrew Hamilton, the Vice-Chancellor of Oxford at Rhodes House.
The Oxford Teaching Awards scheme, co-ordinated by the Oxford University Learning Institute, recognises outstanding contributions award winners have made to teaching and learning at Oxford.

Jul 132010

Cryst. Rev. (2010), 16(3), 197-230.    [ doi:10.1080/08893110903483246 ]

X-ray single crystal structure analysis has become a gold standard for the determination of molecular geometry. The reliability of the technique is a triumph for science and technology working together. The uniqueness of well-crystalline material intrigued early natural philosophers, and their examinations, followed by the discovery of the diffraction of X-rays by crystals, led to the powerful technology that we now enjoy. For about three quarters of a century molecular structure determination has been a driving force for crystallographic research, but now that the science has matured into a technology, interest is returning in trying to understand the nature of crystals themselves.