X-ray crystallography is used to determine the structure of crystalline solids. The questions answered using crystallography include determination of connectivity of the atoms, stereochemistry, absolute configuration, and bond distances and angles. Some students working in my group learn the basic vocabulary and concepts of crystallography using a series of interactive computer programs I have written for that purpose. In addition, or instead, students will engage in synthesis of complexes of a hexadentate ligand, shown below. This project was begun by Professor Emeritus Charles Root and several variations of this complex have been studied. In an attempt to sort out the effects of packing relative to crystal field stablization energy, many more variations of the complex will need to be synthesized and studied by crystallography. If successful in the synthetic efforts, you would then characterize those complexes using the traditional array of spectroscopic techniques (NMR, UV, IR, Mass Spec) in addition to crystallographic studies.
Department of Chemistry,