Crystallography and Crystal Chemistry

Crystals are essential to modern society; their study using X-rays (radio-crystallography) gave birth to crystal chemistry, at the beginning of the 20th century.

Crystal chemistry's objective is to explain the relationship between the properties, the chemical composition and the arrangement of atoms in a crystal.

The crystallographic approach

The crystallographic approach to understanding atomic arrangement represented a revolution for science. For the first time, we could directly see the atomic structure and make-up of materials. This enabled scientists to focus on developing strategies for making materials with new and/or improved physical properties, e.g. new generation batteries, new materials for hydrogen storage, . . . etc.
In principle if a compound or substance can be crystallised its structure can be determined by X-ray crystallography.
Applications for crystallography today exist not only in materials science, but also in the synthesis and structure determination of new molecular materials including the development of new medicines.