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Crystallography

Find tutorials and techniques for X-ray and neutron crystallography: lattices, diffraction, Fourier analysis, packing of atoms, structure of macromolecules. This section also includes journals and software.
  1. Growing Crystals

What Is a Crystal?
Get the definition for a crystal and learn about some common types of crystals.

Crystal Photo Gallery
This is a collection of photographs of crystals. Some are crystals you can grow yourself. Others are representative pictures of crystals of elements and minerals.

Bravais Crystal Lattices
There are 14 distinct Bravais crystal lattices. The lattices can be used to describe the geometrical symmetry of a crystal. The Bravais lattices are sometimes called space lattices.

Crystal Types - Shapes & Structures
Let's take a look at the two main ways to categorize crystal types. I've described the major crystal structures (e.g., triclinic, hexagonal) and how crystals are classified by their properties (e.g., ionic, covalent) and provided links so that you can see examples of crystal types and learn more about crystallography.

How to Grow Great Crystals
Do you want to grow crystals, but you aren't sure where to start or what to do to make sure your crystals turn out well? Here's some basic information on crystal growing. I've provided links to recipes so you can start growing crystals. These instructions are general, so if your recipe calls for something special (like no vibrations or dark), be...

Seed Crystal Instructions
A seed crystal is a small single crystal that you use to grow a much larger crystal from a saturated crystal solution. This is how you can grow a seed crystal yourself.

Crystal Growing Quiz
Are you an ace at growing your own crystals? Test your knowledge about seed crystals, the factors that affect crystal growth, and crystal types with this fun multiple choice quiz.

Gemstone Photo Gallery
See photos of rough and cut gemstones and learn about the chemistry of the minerals.

Growing Crystals - Troubleshooting Common Problems
Are you having trouble growing crystals? Before you throw out your solution, read this list of common problems and fixes.

Grow Sugar Crystals - Make Your Own Rock Candy
Sugar crystals are also known as rock candy since the crystallized sucrose resembles rock crystals and because you can eat your finished product. You can grow clear sugar crystals with sugar and water or you can add food coloring to get colored crystals. It's simple, safe, and fun.

Snowflake Photo Gallery
Snowflakes take many forms. This is a photo gallery of snowflakes and ice crystals.

Snowflake Shapes
It may be hard to find two snowflakes that look identical, but you can classify snow crystals according to their shapes. This is a list of different snowflake patterns.

Sugar Crystal Growing Problems
Sugar crystals, also known as rock candy, are great crystals to grow because they are beautiful, can be grown in any color of the rainbow, and because you can eat them. They aren't always the easiest crystals to grow. Here's how to solve problems growing sugar crystals.

Hiddenite Gemes - Emerald Hollow Mine
The Emerald Hollow Mine in Hiddenite, NC is the only emerald mine in the United States open to the public for prospecting. I went to North Carolina to check the mine out for myself. Can you find emeralds? Yes! And rubies, sapphires, amethyst, citrine, the rare gemstone hiddenite, and much more.

How to Grow Table Salt or Sodium Chloride Crystals
It's easy to grow your own table salt or sodium chloride crystals. All it takes is salt and boiling water. One method even yields crystals within a few hours. Here's what you need to know.

How to Perform a Recrystallization
Recrystallization is a laboratory technique used to purify a sample based on the different solubilites of its components. Learn how to perform a recrystallization and get tips on how to avoid common problems and improve your product yield.

Ionic & Covalent Bonds
Learn to distinguish between ionic and covalent bonds, and determine whether a bond will be polar or nonpolar.

Tin Crystal Growing Instructions
It's easy to grow crystals of tin metal using a simple replacement reaction. You can see the crystals in an hour or so, or leave them overnight for more/larger crystals.

Top Crystal Growing Kits
Here are some kits for growing your own crystals. There are big kits with multiple crystal types, non-toxic kits for younger explorers, pre-sealed crystal globes, and unopened geodes!

Biological Crystallography
Structures of macromolecules. Requires paid subscription.

Cambridge Crystallographic Data Center
Source of the Cambridge Structural Database. From the University of Cambridge.

CCDC Products
Use these software packages to manipulate data from the Cambridge Crystallographic Data Center.

Crystal Structure Communications
Submissions of Crystallographic Information Files. Requires paid subscription.

Crystallographic Topology
Using geometric topology, not algebraic topology, to understand crystal structure. From Carroll K. Johnson and Michael N. Burnett, Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

CrystalSoft
Research and teaching packages includes Crystal Studio.

Database of Macromolecular Movements
Molecular motions: view them or create your own. From Mark Gerstein, Yale University.

DIFRAC
Allows standardization of output from single-crystal diffractometers.

DISCUS
Simulates defect structures and diffuse scattering. From R. B. Neder and Th. Proffen, Bayerische Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg.

Foundations of Crystallography
Theoretical and experimental crystallography. Requires paid subscription.

Indiana University Molecular Structure Center
X-ray crystallography research data generated by the Center.

International Center for Diffraction Data
Powder diffraction databases and PCPDFWIN database extraction software.

Introduction to Surface Chemistry
Adsorption phenomena, crystallography, spectroscopy. From Queen Mary & Westfield College.

Journal of Applied Crystallography
Topics on technique and software. Requires paid subscription.

Molecules and Crystal Structures Page
Moveable molecules using RasMol plug-in. From W. R. Salzman,University of Arizona.

RasMol & Chime
Free downloads of these popular molecular visualization programs.

RCSB Protein Data Bank
Research Collaboratory for Structural Bioinformatics archives protein structure data generated from X-ray crystallography and nuclear magnetic resonance.

SnB
A variant of the Shake-and-Bake program that evaluates crystal structure.

Structural Science
Acquiring structure from data. Requires paid subscription.

Surface Chemistry
Adsorption phenomena, crystallography, spectroscopy. From Queen Mary & Westfield College.

X-Ray Anomalous Scattering
Used in multiple-wavelength anomalous diffraction crystallography. From Ethan A. Merritt, University of Washington.

XRayView
Introduction to X-ray diffraction by using Web-based or dedicated workstation graphics programs. From W. M. Keck Center for Computational Biology.

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