Crystallography, according to the International Union of Crystallography's Online Dictionary of Crystallography, is:

The branch of science devoted to the study of molecular and crystalline structure and properties, with far-reaching applications in mineralogy, chemistry, physics, mathematics, biology and materials science.

Project Information

This project was completed in CHEM507: MCE Molecular Spectroscopy as part of the Master of Chemistry Education (MCE) program within the University of Pennsylvania's Science Teacher Institute.  The project was completed under the direction of Dr. Susan Phillips and Ms. Dusty Carroll, the course instructors.  The goals of the project were to:

  • provide science instructors with information and resources related to x-ray crystallography to increase the likelihood that these concepts will be taught within high school science curricula.
  • increase my own understanding of related concepts to improve my teaching and strengthen my foundation of chemical understanding.

About the Author

Mark Hayden is a chemistry instructor at Central Bucks High School West in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.  For more information:



Thank you to Dr. Patrick Carroll, Director of the University of Pennsylvania's X-Ray Crystallography Facility.  He welcomed me into the facility and provided me with useful resources.  For more information on the facility and a wealth of other information on the topic, visit his website above.

Thank you also to Dr. Gary Molander ( and Dr. Larry Sneddon ( who granted me permission to use their published structures.  Examples of these structures are found above.