CHEM 712/7120 - X-Ray Crystallography

Semester: Winter 2022

Professor: D. Soldatov | Discipline: Inorganic | Campus: Guelph


Introduction into chemical crystallography and X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis. The course provides basic theoretical background for understanding crystal structures and other XRD data reported in the literature and databases. The course also covers theoretical and practical aspects of the XRD analysis, including interaction of X-rays with matter, theoretical description of diffraction, experimental methods, instrumentation, preparation of samples, and the usage of software.
Contact info, course materials, detailed schedule of classes (calendar), due dates, and other information.

The course is offered in the Winter-2022 semester in the 12 Week Format. The course lecture material is divided into eight Modules. Each Module includes lecture and tutorial class time.

Part I  Crystallography  (~5 classes)
Module 1. Crystals and symmetry: basics.
Module 2. From crystal systems to space groups.
Module 3. Crystallographic resources and crystal chemistry.

Part II Crystal structure analysis: theoretical aspects  (~3 classes)
Module 4. X-Rays and diffraction.
Module 5. Theory of crystal structure analysis.

Part III          Crystal structure analysis: practical aspects  (~3 classes)
Module 6. X-Ray diffraction techniques.
Module 7. Sample preparation.
Module 8. Structure solution and refinement.


Lecture Notes (required text) will be provided in advance of the classes.

Other resources and links will be posted on the course website.

A number of general texts and web resources may be used; some optional texts are listed below:

  • AR West, Solid State Chemistry and Its Applications, Wiley, 1984 (1st ed) or 2014 (2nd ed)
  • DE Sands, Introduction to Crystallography, Dover Publications, 1993 (Dover ed)
  • C Hammond, The Basics of Crystallography and Diffraction, IUCr and Oxford Univ. Press, 2009 (3rd ed)
  • GH Stout and LH Jensen, X-Ray Structure Determination: A Practical Guide, Macmillan Co, 1968 (1st ed) or Wiley, 1989 (2nd ed)
  • JP Glusker and KN Trueblood, Crystal Structure Analysis. A Primer, IUCr and Oxford Univ. Press, 2010 (3rd ed)
  • W Massa, Crystal Structure Determination, Springer, 2004 (2nd ed)
  • W Borchardt-Ott, Crystallography, Springer, 1995 (2nd ed)
  • C Giacovazzo et al, Fundamentals of Crystallography, IUCr and Oxford University Press, 2011 (3rd ed)
  • P Müller (ed.), Crystal Structure Refinement. A Crystallographer’s Guide to SHELXL, IUCr and Oxford Univ. Press, 2006


Three assignments (10% each), midterm exam (30%), and final exam (40%). Late submission of assignments may be subject to 10% grade reduction per day. Auditing students must acquire min 50% grade.

FINAL EXAM                    TBA



Please note that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic may necessitate a revision of the format of course offerings, changes in classroom protocols, and academic schedules. Any such changes will be announced via the course website and/or class email.

This includes on-campus scheduling during the semester, midterm and final examination schedules. For information on current safety protocols see the corresponding university websites:

Please note, these guidelines may be updated as required in response to evolving university, Public Health or government directives.


  • Tue: 7:00 pm - 9:20 pm in MacN 101/EIT 2053

Office Hours

Office: U of Guelph, MACN-338 Contacts: 519-824-4120 x 53548; soldatov @