Chapter 3.4 Mounting and setting of specimens for X-ray crystallographic studies

Mathematical, physical and chemical tables

First Online Edition (2006)

Part 3. Preparation and examination of specimens

  1. P. F. Lindley

Published Online: 1 JAN 2006

DOI: 10.1107/97809553602060000588

International Tables for Crystallography

International Tables for Crystallography

How to Cite

Lindley, P. F. 2006. Mounting and setting of specimens for X-ray crystallographic studies. International Tables for Crystallography. C:3:3.4:162–170.

Author Information

  1. ESRF, Avenue des Martyrs, BP 220, F-38043 Grenoble CEDEX, France

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 JAN 2006


This chapter describes the mounting of both polycrystalline specimens (powders) and single crystals for recording X-ray diffraction patterns. It also deals with the handling of specimens under extreme conditions of both high and low temperature and the problems associated with radiation damage. With respect to single crystals, the optimum orientation for recording a complete data set is described. In the light of modern data-collection equipment using both conventional and synchrotron X-ray sources, much of the information on crystal orientation may appear redundant, but for newcomers to the field and for crystal structure analyses that prove to be difficult, reference should be made to the basic principles described in this chapter.


  • cryoprotectants;
  • mounting of specimens;
  • precession geometry;
  • radiation damage;
  • setting of specimens;
  • specimens;
  • stationary-crystal method;
  • still photographs for initial crystal setting