Laboratory Overview

The Molecular Structure Laboratory occupies room 2121, 2122, and 2143 on the second floor of the Shain Tower.

Single Crystal Lab

Room 2121 hosts the single-crystal X-ray facility. The laboratory is equipped with two state-of-the-art X-ray diffractometers: a Bruker Quazar APEX2 with a Mo Kα IµS radiation source (aka Gromit, commissioned in 2009) and a Bruker D8 VENTURE PhotonIII four-circle diffractometer with Cu Kα (λ = 1.54178 Å) radiation (aka Larry; installed in 2019). Both instruments are outfitted with Oxford Cryosystems low temperature devices allowing data acquisition in the 90-400 K range. Visit the lab virtually via a webcam (UW-Madison VPN required).

Two optical microscopes are open to user access: a Leica M205 C (160x) microscope equipped with a Leica DMC4500 digital microscope camera and a rotatable polarizer stage and a Nikon SMZ-10A (49x) microscope with a polarizer/analyzer setup.

Room 2143 hosts the powder X-ray diffractometer Bruker D8 Advance equipped with a Cu Kα conventional sealed X-ray tube and a Lynxeye detector.

Room 2122 is the crystallography computer room hosting the computer cluster and servers. This room is open for students to process their data.

Our research capabilities

The single-crystal laboratory is well equipped to conduct state-of-the-art experiments in a range of temperatures. We can handle stable crystals as well as air-, moisture-, and temperature-sensitive crystals, and compounds that are liquids at room temperature. We routinely handle single and twinned crystals, crystals of exceedingly small size (several microns in the smallest dimension), and crystals that decompose during the experiment due to radiation damage.

The powder diffractometer is operated independently by trained students and yields publishable quality data acquired at room temperature.