Nanocrystals; Electron diffraction; Catalyst characterisation; Structural chemistry
Wennmacher Julian T.C., Li Teng, Zaubitzer Christian, Gemmi Mauro, Mugnaioli Enrico, Gruene Tim, van Bokhoven Jeroen A. (2020), Heterogeneity of nano-sized zeolite crystals, in Microporous and Mesoporous Materials
, 294, 109897-109897.
Wennmacher Julian T. C., Zaubitzer Christian, Li Teng, Bahk Yeon Kyoung, Wang Jing, van Bokhoven Jeroen A., Gruene Tim (2019), 3D-structured supports create complete data sets for electron crystallography, in Nature Communications
, 10(1), 3316-3316.
Heidler Jonas, Pantelic Radosav, Wennmacher Julian T. C., Zaubitzer Christian, Fecteau-Lefebvre Ariane, Goldie Kenneth N., Müller Elisabeth, Holstein Julian J., van Genderen Eric, De Carlo Sacha, Gruene Tim (2019), Design guidelines for an electron diffractometer for structural chemistry and structural biology, in Acta Crystallographica Section D Structural Biology
, 75(5), 458-466.
Gruene Tim, Wennmacher Julian T. C., Zaubitzer Christian, Holstein Julian J., Heidler Jonas, Fecteau-Lefebvre Ariane, De Carlo Sacha, Müller Elisabeth, Goldie Kenneth N., Regeni Irene, Li Teng, Santiso-Quinones Gustavo, Steinfeld Gunther, Handschin Stefan, van Genderen Eric, van Bokhoven Jeroen A., Clever Guido H., Pantelic Radosav (2018), Rapid structure determination of microcrystalline molecular compounds using electron diffraction, in Angewandte Chemie International Edition
, 57, 16313-16317.
Structural information at atomic detail is important for research related bothto organic and macromolecular compounds. Pharmaceutically active organiccompounds can be modified to improve efficiency and reduce side effects.Structural information of macromolecular compounds can reveal domain movements,binding pockets for ligands and thus help understand e.g. enzymatic reactionmechanisms or mechanistic functioning of large complexes like the polymerase,the ribosome, or ion channels.Electron microscopy, nuclear magnetic resonance, and crystallography are themajor methods for structure determination of macromolecular compounds. thestructure of organic compounds is mainly determined with X-ray diffraction. Thecombination of electron microscopes with crystal diffraction leads to electronnanocrystallography: electrons interact very strongly with matter, and perdiffracted quantum they deposit three orders of magnitude less damaging energyin the crystal than X-rays. For these two properties, electron diffraction datacan be collected from crystals with nanometre dimensions. Even for veryradiation sensitive compounds like macromolecules, one to five crystals aresufficient for complete data. The possibility to determine a structure from onlyvery few nanocrystals carries at least two important advantages. Firstly itproduces reliable data and structures that can be determined and validated withestablished methods from the well matured field of X-ray crystallography.Secondly and more importantly, data collection from nanocrystals providesinformation from samples that have failed X-ray diffraction because of too smallor too few crystals. Especially for small molecule compounds,nanocrystallography can sometimes distinguish between intrinsic disorder andsamples composed of several types of crystals, which is important, e.g. for thepurity and thus efficiency of drugs.If all this is true, why are there so few organic and macromolecular structuresdetermined with electron diffraction from three dimensional nanocrystals? Themethod has only become possible with very recent detector developments.Currently data processing may take several weeks and requires highly experiencedand expert knowledge. This makes it little attractive for researchers to becomefamiliar with a new technique no matter its prospects.This project will pave way for electron diffraction to become a competitivemethod for structure determination: Reliable and fast determination ofexperimental parameters and new methods for structure solution from electrondiffraction data will encourage laboratories with access to electron microscopesto collect diffraction data on their own. This also connects with free electronlasers like the SwissFEL: using electron diffraction for structure determinationleaves more room to the SwissFEL for its unique strength, namely time-resolvedstudies at atomic detail.The project goal will be pursued with an interdisciplinary approach combiningaspects of electron microscopy with crystallography, and by developinginnovative methods for instrument calibration compatible with state-of-the-artelectron microscopes