Indiana University Bloomington
IUMSC   Indiana University Molecular Structure Center

Our Mission

The mission of the Indiana University Molecular Structure Center (IUMSC) is to advance scientific knowledge and innovation through state-of-the-art crystallographic research. Our focus is on unraveling the structural intricacies of materials at the atomic and molecular levels, providing valuable insights for diverse fields such as chemistry, physics, biochemistry, geology, mineralogy, and materials science. Committed to excellence and collaboration, we aim to contribute to the scientific community, empower future researchers, and foster a culture of curiosity, discovery, and integrity in our center.

We offer access to and conduct cutting-edge service and research crystallography including a range of routine and non-routine experiments including small-molecule single-crystal X-ray structure determination, X-ray powder diffraction analysis, and other scattering experiments. We actively facilitate collaborations with other specialized crystallography laboratories and regularly conduct experiments at National Laboratories. Moreover, we provide individual training and crystallography classes to students, enabling researchers to carry out their custom-designed diffraction experiments. To enhance accessibility and efficiency, the center develops information technology tools for remote instrument access, fast data dissemination, and cyber collaboration enhancing crystallographic experiments.

Dedicated to improving scientific literacy, IUMSC strives to inspire curiosity and understanding of crystallography among diverse audiences. We develop cyber teaching tools to enhance Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education and provide engaging experiences that demystify the world of crystals and their structures. We encourage individuals of all ages to explore the fascinating realm of crystallography, fostering scientific literacy and curiosity about the natural world, and extend a warm welcome to K12 classes and the general public, inviting them to visit and tour our center.

History & Overview

The Indiana University Molecular Structure Center, founded in 1968 as a departmental service and research facility, has evolved significantly over the years. Initially housed in a Quonset hut between the IMU and the Chemistry building, the center now occupies an area on the 4th floor of the Chemistry tower. In 1974, the Board of Trustees of Indiana University officially designated the laboratory as an Office of Research and the University Graduate School (RUGS) Center.

Under the leadership of director Dr. John C. Huffman, along with lead scientists Kirsten and William Streib, the center operated up to twelve Picker diffractometers during its early years. Notably, the center staff developed measurement and computation software to enhance the capabilities of the laboratory.

Today, the center boasts a comprehensive array of single crystal and powder diffraction instruments. Two single crystal diffractometers (Bruker Apex Duo and Venture D8), each equipped with advanced detectors (CCD and CMOS), and both dual-source systems featuring kappa geometry, facilitating rapid data acquisition and zone photography are available to staff and users. The high-intensity X-ray sources (Mo-IμS3 and Cu-IμSDiamond) of the Venture D8 diffractometer enable high-throughput crystallography as well as protein screening and data collection. Both single crystal diffractometers offer standard cryo setups for experimenting at temperatures ranging from –173 to 400 °C under a protective nitrogen atmosphere, making them suitable for handling air and temperature-sensitive materials.

The center's capabilities extend to three powder diffractometers, including two Bruker D8 Advance systems, featuring a humidity chamber and an energy-discriminating detector. Additionally, a versatile multi-purpose PANalytical Empyrean diffractometer allows for reflection, transmission, and non-ambient powder diffraction, as well as reflectometry, and texture data collection. Anton Paar chambers enhance the lab's capabilities for data acquisition under non-ambient conditions, such as elevated temperatures and pressures, and under reactive gas atmospheres.

The facility also provides support equipment for sample and specimen preparation, visual microscopy, inert manipulation, grinding, sieving, and heating. Specialized equipment, such as Schlenk lines and glove bags, is available for handling sensitive materials. A designated computing area allows researchers, students, and other center users access to proprietary and open crystallographic data analysis and visualization software, along with crystallographic databases.

The Molecular Structure Center actively develops and maintains information technology tools for remote instrument access, rapid data dissemination, and cyber collaboration, ensuring prompt data access for researchers and collaborators and facilitating efficient crystallographic experiments.

More Information

Indiana University
Indiana University Molecular Structure Center. Chemistry, A421, Indiana University, 800 E, Kirkwood Ave., Bloomington, IN 47405-7102, 812.855.6821
Privacy Policy | ©2021 The Trustees of Indiana University, Copyright Complaints