Experiments on alpha-Glycine: getting data on a beam sensitive sample

Electron Diffraction (ED) opens new perspectives for crystallographic research. Our team carried out a comparative experiment of alpha-Glycine with two different 3D ED methodologies: precession and continuous rotation, arriving at a surprising conclusion. Find out more in our latest free whitepaper.

Given that ED gains more and more momentum, Eldico is ready to equip the nano-crystallographic research community with the instrument it needs: the dedicated electron diffractometer. As part of our effort to showcase the power of continuous rotation method for 3D ED, we compared it with existing methodologies in order to assess qualitatively what is the preferred practice.

Alpha-Glycine is a small and very simple aliphatic molecule and as such very sensitive to the electron beam; it therefore is well suited to assess the importance of the data acquisition method. Experiments on alpha-Glycine using the precession method (described in detail in the whitepaper) did not produce reliable results because the molecule suffers from beam damage and no 3D ED reconstruction could be obtained.

However, using the continuous rotation method on the same device, a reasonable data set was obtained that could be analysed insofar that a structure model was produced. Upon comparing the results with recent structures from literature, we noticed differences in the bond lengths, differences that can be fully studied and rationalized only once a dedicated electron diffractometer is available and crystallographic software is optimized for electrons.

More Scientific Content from ELDICO:

What are Electron Diffraction and Nanocrystallography and why are they important? (White Paper) --- Rapid Structure Determination of Microcrystalline Molecular Compounds Using Electron Diffraction (Peer-Reviewed Paper) --- Can Electron Diffraction distinguish between carbon and nitrogen atoms? (Application Note).

Click here to download the application note

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ELDICO Scientific, The Electron Diffraction Company, is a Swiss hardware company founded 2019 and is located in Switzerland Innovation Park Innovaare at the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI), one of the world's leading research centers for natural and engineering sciences. ELDICO develops, produces and sells electron diffractometers for the analysis of solid compounds enabling industrial and scientific researchers to characterise hitherto unmeasurable nano-crystalline systems. So far conventional methods (X-ray) fail, because they require bigger crystal sizes, which are often difficult or even impossible to produce. With support of the Nano Argovia Programme and the Swiss Nanosience Insitute (SNI) the proof-of-concept was achieved in 2018 (ETH Zurich, C-CINA Basel) on scientifically and industrially relevant samples.