Chapter 3.1 Preparation, selection, and investigation of specimens

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: 10.1107/97809553602060000585

International Tables for Crystallography

International Tables for Crystallography

How to Cite

Lindley, P. F. 2006. Preparation, selection, and investigation of specimens. International Tables for Crystallography. C:3:3.1:148–155.

Author Information

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

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 JAN 2006



This chapter deals with the preparation and selection of single‐crystal specimens for subsequent X‐ray investigation. It contains brief notes on crystal growth and a general introduction to the special problems that may be encountered with biological macromolecules. The references have been selected to guide the reader towards more comprehensive texts that are available and specialists in this field should certainly consult the new volume of International Tables dedicated to biological macromolecules (Volume F). The section on crystal selection gives some overall guidelines regarding crystal size, shape and quality, and emphasizes that time spent on optical examination can often save effort at a later stage of a crystal structure analysis.


  • crystals;
  • crystallization;
  • relation of physical properties to crystal structure;
  • preparation of specimens