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Analysis of twinned crystals

Summer 2011, Volume 27, No. 2
Hiroyasu Sato and Akihito Yamano

Molecular structure determination has an important role both in fundamental science and applied sciences such as organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, biochemistry, drug discovery, material chemistry, etc.  A number of analytical methods are routinely used to determine molecular structure: nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), mass spectrometry (MS), infrared absorption spectroscopy (IR), X-ray diffractometry (XRD), and so on. In particular, single-crystal X-ray structure analysis is the most effective method of obtaining a detailed and overall three-dimensional structure of a molecule.

However, one critical problem is that single-crystal X-ray analysis cannot be performed if the target sample doesn’t form a single crystal. Even if the target sample crystallizes, it sometimes turns out to be twinned or a polycrystal.


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