Embargo expired: 7-Sep-2014 1:00 PM EDT
Source Newsroom: University of Adelaide
Sep. 8, 2014 - Over 100 years since the Nobel Prize-winning father and son team Sir William and Sir Lawrence Bragg pioneered the use of X-rays to determine crystal structure, University of Adelaide researchers have made significant new advances in the field.
Published in the journal Nature Chemistry today, Associate Professors Christian Doonan and Christopher Sumby and their team in the School of Chemistry and Physics, have developed a new material for examining structures using X-rays without first having to crystallise the substance.
“2014 is the International Year of Crystallography, recognising the importance of this 100-year-old science and how it underpins a vast range of the technological developments of our modern society,” says Associate Professor Sumby.
“Today, crystallography is an area of science that’s still providing new insights into the structures of materials – our new research is a prime example of that. It allows us to study chemical reactions that have just happened, or potentially even while they are still happening, which we can’t do using normal crystallography.”
“We are effectively taking snap-shots of the chemistry, enabling us to study the reaction products in their native state. In this way we can provide structural evidence for the chemical transformations that are taking place.”
Sir William Bragg started his work on X-rays and crystal structure when he was Elder Professor of Mathematics and Physics at the University of Adelaide. His son Lawrence was a graduate of the University. The new work is being carried out in the Bragg Crystallography Facility at the University’s North Terrace campus.