High Resolution Crystallographic Studies using Synchrotron Radiation
Philip Coppens Principal Investigator
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Professor Philip Coppens of the State University of New York at Buffalo is funded by the Experimental Physical Chemistry program to perform technique development in X-ray diffraction with a strong theoretical component. Transition metal compounds will serve as model systems. Time-resolved crystallography will be performed on a microsecond timescale, allowing structural characterization of short-lived photo-intermediates. Another major area of innovation is the determination of charge distributions in crystals. Thus, static diffraction structure data is supplemented with charge density and polarizability information, and density functional theory is performed to enhance understanding of the experiments. <br/><br/>X-ray diffraction is well-known as the sine qua non of structure-determining tools, capable of measuring extremely small changes in molecular geometry. Despite being a mature field, X-ray diffraction is enhanced by this work, which presents innovations that will expand the knowledge of electronic structures of matter and the structural changes in molecules that occur on fast timescales. Knowledge that is gained about the interaction of radiation with matter in the solid state will underpin future applications in materials science and technology. International collaboration with the Slovak University of Technology will benefit the efforts of both countries to advance research in this area.