Analytical service

For most people this is the primary route to getting a structure determined. Samples can be submitted via a web form and then delivered to the basement with an accompanying form including chemical and safety information. The form should be counter-signed by a Supervisor (either research leader or senior member of lab staff).

Data are usually collected within a week and, if successful, results will be returned in around two weeks. If there are problems with the suitability of the sample or other issues, email notification will be sent as soon as possible, often at the point of data collection.

The results will be uploaded to the SRF Server and will include:

  • Tables including derived parameters;
  • Pictures;
  • PDB file;
  • CIF file.
Small Banner picture of some structures? pic003.jpg


We are often asked whether a structure is "publishable", but unfortunately the answer is usually not a simple "yes'' or "no'' as it depends on what the data are to be used for. In addition, there are a number of additional checks and modifications that Service Staff need to complete prior to publication. These include:

  • Checking the crystallography agrees with the chemistry in the manuscript;
  • Collecting crystallographic data together in one file and adding publication information as a header;
  • Checking suitable citations and acknowledgements have been included in the manuscript.

Service Staff can also provide pictures of structures, material for ESI and advice regarding the validity of conclusions drawn from the crystallographic results as well as helping to respond to any crystallographic comments from referees.

Once the structure of the manuscript is known, please send it to with the following:

  • A late-stage draft of the manuscript;
  • The finalised list of authors and their affiliations;
  • The finalised title and abstract;
  • The intended journal;
  • The list of compound numbers (as they appear in the manuscript) and their Service Submission numbers.

With this information, Service Staff can then re-check the structural work, compile a combined CIF, and add comments to the manuscript concerning appropriate citations etc., as necessary. This will typically take one to two weeks depending on workload and other factors.

X-ray crystallography machine