2023-2024 / CRIS0203-1

Elements in crystallography


15h Th, 15h Pr

Number of credits

 Bachelor in chemistry2 crédits 


Rudi Cloots

Language(s) of instruction

French language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the first semester, review in January


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

This crystallography course covers the following points:
- a study of the crystal network in terms of indexation of planes and faces of a crystal. This study should lead to an attempt to explain the shape of crystals encountered in nature.
- crystalline symmetry including determining the elements of symmetry of a crystal and to which international classification it belongs. This part of the course also includes learning how to establish a symmetry group on the basis of the elements previously seen.
- determination of a crystalline structure and more specifically from the study of crystal X-ray defraction.
- crystal growth from both a fundamental and practical point of view.

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

The aim of this course in crystallography for students of biological sciences must take account of the structural aspects encountered in modern biology. However, in order to do so, certain basic concepts must be covered in order to prepare students for an analytical approach to practical problems. The techniques used to "resolve" a crystalline structure will be introduced. It should be noted that Watson and Crick discovered the double-helix DNA structure as a result of X-ray defraction.

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

There are no particular prerequisites. It is assumed that students will have a basic grasp of chemistry and physics as taught in the first degree courses, in particular the basics of geometrical optics and light defraction through a network. These concepts will nevertheless be revised very briefly during the relevant sections of the course. The mathematical tools used during this course will be set out in detail in advance.

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

Classes will only take place in the first quarter.
Practical work: this essentially consists of tutorial work. These revision sessions will take place on Mondays from 0830 to 1030. They will illustrate the theoretical concepts covered during class.

Recommended or required readings

The COURSE NOTES will be distributed during the first crystallography class. The tutorial notes will also be distributed at this time. The material required to resolve the problems set out during the tutorials will be given at the appropriate time. Students are encouraged to consult the following publications (available from the lecturer's office):
- Essentials of Crystallography (Duncan McKie - Christine McKie; Blackwell Scientific Publications - 1986)
- Fundamentals of Crystallography (C. Giacovazzo; Oxford Science Publications - 1995)

The crystallography course exam will take place in January during the first class of the session. It consists of a written exam covering all the material and essentially consists of exercises which are similar to those carried out during the tutorials. An interview with the lecturer will follow the written exam, enabling the student to get a better understanding of any mistakes made in the written exam.
Online written exam.

Work placement(s)

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course


Laboratoire de Chimie Inorganique Structurale, Institut de Chimie, Building B6,
Sart-Tilman B-4000 Liège
Phone : 04/366.34.36; fax : 04/366.34.13; e-mail: rcloots@ulg.ac.be

Association of one or more MOOCs

Items online

Cristallography Course