The Department of Chemistry’s X-Ray Diffraction Facility is equipped with two modern and versatile Bruker diffractometers. These diffractometers are coupled to extraordinarily sensitive Bruker APEX and APEX2 CCD detectors that give rise to high-resolution data even on very small crystals (down to 10μm) and facilitate the collection of complete and highly redundant datasets in any given Laue class. Modern low-temperature devices from Oxford Cryosystems, covering a temperature range from 90 to 500K, complete our setup. The X-ray Diffraction Facility offers full single crystal X-ray structure determination at two wavelengths (Cu or Mo), including the determination of absolute configuration of chiral molecules from anomalous scattering.
Hours of operation are Monday – Friday from 9:00AM. to 4:00PM.
MIT Faculty, Students, and Staff can feel free to drop by any time, or reach out to make an appointment. If you are not a member of the MIT community and wish to use the X-Ray Facility, please see the section marked For External Organizations below.
About the X-Ray Diffraction Facility
The Facility is equipped with state-of-the-art and versatile Bruker diffracton equipment that allows collecting complete and highly redundant datasets in any given Laue class meeting or exceeding the International Union of Crystallography requirements for good data. These diffractometers are coupled to extraordinarily sensitive Bruker Photon II and APEX2 area detectors that give rise to high-resolution data even on very small crystals (down to 5µm).
The Department of Chemistry’s X-Ray Diffraction Facility offers:
The Reciprocal Net Site Network is a distributed database for crystallographic information, supported by the National Science Digital Library, and is run by participating crystallography labs across the world. Each entry in the database generally describes a single crystal structure that was synthesized or isolated by a research chemist and was analyzed by means of X-ray crystallography.
JMol Color Scheme
The Jmol Color Scheme is an open-source Java viewer for chemical structures in 3D with features for chemicals, crystals, materials and biomolecules.
Effective July 1, 2020, the rates for services of the X-Ray Diffraction Facility are as follows:
MIT Chemistry Department
Other MIT customers
Other non-profit customers
Unit Cell Determination
A “Unit Cell Determination” is any diffraction experiment during which between 5 and 60 frames (100 frames for Cu radiation) are collected. If more than 60 frames (100 for Cu radiation) are collected, another price category applies.
An “Examination” is any diffraction experiment during which between 60 and 400 frames for Mo radiation or between 100 and 1000 frames for Cu radiation are collected. A project that results in collection of fewer frames than the specifed number is billed as “Unit Cell Determination”. If more than 400 frames for Mo or 1000 frames for Cu radiation are collected, the project will be billed as “Data Collection”.
Free of charge is preliminary analysis and assessment of samples with respect to suitability for a subsequent diffraction experiment. This initial analysis can include visual inspection using a polarizing microscope as well as recording of several diffraction images at one or two wavelengths. The facility also offers free assistance with structure solution or refinement, training, consultations.
For External Organizations
Users from outside MIT who wish to request access to the X-Ray Diffraction Facility should fill out this online form.
The Bruker/MIT Symposium
For information on the annual Bruker/MIT Symposium, an event directed toward chemists and crystallographers from the greater Boston area, visit this website.