This award is supported by the Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) and the Chemistry Research Instrumentation and Facilities (CRIF) Programs. Professor Carla Slebodnick from Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University and colleagues David Kingston, Victoria Soghomonian, Nancy Ross, and Bin Xu are acquiring an X-ray diffractometer with a dual molybdenum and copper source. In general, an X-ray diffractometer allows accurate and precise measurements of the full three-dimensional structure of a molecule, including bond distances and angles. The instrument provides accurate information about the spatial arrangement of a molecule relative to neighboring molecules. The studies described here impact many areas, including organic and inorganic chemistry, materials chemistry and biochemistry. This instrument is an integral part of teaching as well as research and research training of undergraduate students in chemistry and biochemistry at this institution, as well as collaborators from regional institutions. Training in specialized methods such as high pressure and biomolecular crystallography prepare students for challenges in both academia and industry. This instrument serves as a regional facility with students and faculty from many neighboring colleges accessing and collaborating on research projects.
The diffractometer enhances research and education at all levels. It especially aids in investigating perovskites and related mineral-inspired substances, metal-organic-frameworks (commonly referred to as MOFs), and electronic materials. The diffractometer is also used in small molecule determinations that may be relevant to the drug discovery. The instrument is essential for studies requiring biomacromolecular crystallography.