What molecular synthetic targets are amenable for X-ray crystallography in an undergraduate teaching lab?
Molecular shape is one of the three underpinnings of chemistry, and single crystal X-ray crystallography is the most definitive structural characterization method. In 2013 Lewis & Clark College took delivery of a X-ray diffractometer solely dedicated for its teaching labs. To that end, this NSF-funded project examines new teaching laboratory experiments that yield discrete crystals suitable for X-ray diffraction characterization. Data on both molecular shape and geometric parameters yield interesting bonding phenomena for both inorganic and organic compounds. As such, this project examines new teaching labs in general, organic and advanced inorganic teaching labs at the College. This project also collaborates with three other colleges in the Pacific Northwest with the intention of disseminating these teaching labs to other neighboring chemistry departments.