X-ray Laboratory


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Our X-ray Laboratory provides access to state-of-the-art equipment and technologies, hosts a crystallography course and X-ray diffraction application training, and offers advice and technical assistance in crystal growth, data collection, and structure refinement. We welcome all Harvard affiliates as well as external users. For more information, view our brochure.


Instrumentation & Services


Small Molecule Single Crystal Diffraction

Small Molecule Single Crystal Diffraction
  • Bruker D8 VENTURE: equipped with PHOTON-100 CMOS detector, high brilliance Mo/Cu IµS microfocus X-ray sources and Oxford Cryosystream 800 series low temperature device
  • Two APEX DUO single crystal diffractometers: equipped with APEX II CCD detector, Mo (Triumph)/Cu (IµS microfocus) X-ray sources and Oxford Cryosystream 700 series low temperature device
  • Routine small molecule (up to 500 non-hydrogen atoms) crystal structure determinations (80-400 K), including determinations of the absolute configuration of biologically active compounds, which often do not contain atoms with larger resonant scattering signals than that of oxygen
  • Transmission-mode (in capillaries) powder diffraction data (80-400 K) can also be collected

The Advanced Photon Source (APS) Argonne National Lab regularly awards our Lab beam time for micro-crystallography studies, high resolution charge density studies, and resonant diffraction studies. Thanks to the tunable, high-intensity X-ray beams at ChemMatCARS, our X-ray laboratory has been using advanced crystallography as an essential research tool for:


X-ray Diffraction for Thin Film and Powder Samples

Powder X-ray Diffraction
  • Bruker D2 PHASER: a novel desktop X-ray diffraction tool enabling fast data collection for phase identification and Rietveld refinement
  • D8 DISCOVER with DAVINCI Design X-ray powder diffractometer: equipped with a zero/one-dimensional LynxEye detector and a two-dimensional VÅNTEC-500 detector. It is capable of performing:
    • Qualitative and quantitative phase analysis by using Bragg-Brentano focusing with LynxEye geometry
    • X-ray reflectivity and high-resolution X-ray diffraction analysis of thin films by using Göbel mirror/ACC2 with LynxEye geometry
    • Stress measurement, texture analysis and non-destructive phase identification on the sample with even only 0.5 mm diameter area by using 2D X-ray diffraction (XRD2) with VÅNTEC-500 geometry


Crystal Mounting

Zeiss Microscopes

X-ray Laboratory Staff

Lab Contact Information

12 Oxford St., Bauer B04-06

Cambridge, MA 02138
Phone: (617) 495-0787

Map of 12 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA

Other Resources

Cambridge Structural Database (CSD)
The CSD contains bibliographic, 2D chemical and 3D structural results for organic and metal-organic compounds studied by X-ray or neutron diffraction. Any Harvard campus user can access the database from WebCSD, or install CSD software suites locally by contacting Tina Qin, the Librarian for Chemical Sciences for assess detail

Powder Diffraction FileTM (PDF)
The PDF-2 can be accessed on the computers in X-ray center. PDF-2 is a collaborative product between ICDD, FIZ Kalsruhe, and NIST, and contains 250,182 unique material data sets.