01015 - Structural Chemistry

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Lucia Maini

  • Credits 6

  • SSD CHIM/03

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures

  • Language Italian

  • Campus of Bologna

  • Degree Programme First cycle degree programme (L) in Chemistry and Materials Chemistry (cod. 8006)

  • Teaching resources on Virtuale

  • Course Timetable from Sep 21, 2021 to Dec 21, 2021


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Quality education

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student knows the principles of structural investigation methods using X-rays and other radiation of comparable wavelengths.

Course contents

  • Elements of crystallography: symmetry, crystal classes, spatial groups, crystal systems, asymmetrical units, fractional coordinates.
  • International tables of crystallography.
  • Crystalline geometry. Axes, planes, Miller indices.
  • Reciprocal lattice. Construction and meaning of reciprocal lattice, relationships between reciprocal and real lattice.
  • X-ray diffraction. Laue interpretation, Bragg interpretation, Ewald interpretation.
  • Structure factors and Fourier transforms. Atomic scattering factor, structure factor, diffracted intensity, phase problem.
  • Instrumentation. X-ray generators, introduction to the use of synchrotron light, powder and single crystal diffractometer.
  • Powder X-ray diffraction Sample preparation, instrumentation, information obtainable from the diffractogram
  • Qualitative analysis of powder patterns. Phase identification in organic and inorganic fields, with exercise.
  • Quantitative analysis of powder patterns. Methods for quantitative analysis. problems in the organic and inorganic field.
  • Introduction to X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (XRF). Notes on the characteristics and potential of the technique.
  • Transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Bright field, dark field, high resolution images. Electron diffraction.


A, Immirzi, C. Tedesco "La diffrazione dei cristalli", libreriauniversitaria.it

C. Giacovazzo, H.L. Monaco, G. Artioli, D. Viterbo, G. Ferraris, G. Gilli, G. Zanotti, M. Catti “Fundamentals of Crystallography” Oxford University Press, USA; 2 ed (2002)

Teaching methods

The course includes lectures, group work and practical exercises on the topics included in the programme.

Assessment methods

The final examination verifies the acquisition of the expected knowledge and skills through an oral test. The oral test covers the topics dealt with in the course and is aimed at verifying the student's understanding of the theoretical and experimental aspects of the methodologies covered by the course. The final grade is expressed in thirtieths.

Teaching tools

 blackboard, power point presentation and other materials for  the execises

Office hours

See the website of Lucia Maini