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Structure Determination, Building Principles, and Synthesis of Crystalline Materials in Two and Three Dimensions

Module PH2191

This module handbook serves to describe contents, learning outcome, methods and examination type as well as linking to current dates for courses and module examination in the respective sections.

Module version of SS 2014

There are historic module descriptions of this module. A module description is valid until replaced by a newer one.

Whether the module’s courses are offered during a specific semester is listed in the section Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature below.

available module versions
SS 2022SS 2021SS 2020SS 2019SS 2018SS 2017SS 2014

Basic Information

PH2191 is a semester module in German or English language at Master’s level which is offered in summer semester.

This Module is included in the following catalogues within the study programs in physics.

  • Specific catalogue of special courses for condensed matter physics
  • Complementary catalogue of special courses for nuclear, particle, and astrophysics
  • Complementary catalogue of special courses for Biophysics
  • Complementary catalogue of special courses for Applied and Engineering Physics

If not stated otherwise for export to a non-physics program the student workload is given in the following table.

Total workloadContact hoursCredits (ECTS)
150 h 40 h 5 CP

Responsible coordinator of the module PH2191 in the version of SS 2014 was Markus Lackinger.

Content, Learning Outcome and Preconditions


Many materials in nature and technology are crystalline, i.e. their atomic structure is periodic. For a microscopic understanding of physical properties and as a prerequisite for simulations, detailed knowledge of the atomic structure is essential. The lecture aims at providing fundamentals for structure determination by means of diffraction, i.e. determination of the unit cell as well as type and coordinates of the atoms contained. Since structure determination takes advantage of symmetries, an overview will be given over symmetry operations, the difference between coupling and combination, as well as the classification in point and space groups. Moreover, important methods for the growth of inorganic crystals as well as synthesis of novel organic crystalline materials as Metal-Organic-Frameworks und Covalent-Organic-Frameworks will be introduced. Finally, in relation to nano-materials, we discuss both synthesis and structure determination of two-dimensional materials.

Learning Outcome

The successful participation provides the basic knowledge for structure determination by means of diffraction (Laue equations, Bragg equation, reciprocal space, extinction rules, Ewald construction, strategies for solving the phase problem). One understands the effect of single, combined, and coupled symmetry elements and is able to assign structures to space groups according to their symmetries. An overview about experimental implementations of powder and single crystal x-ray diffraction is provided. The crucial differences between electron vs. x-ray diffraction as well as diffraction on two vs. three dimensional crystals will become clear. Finally, an overview over the most important methods for crystal growth and synthesis of novel crystalline organic materials is obtained.


Keine Vorkenntnisse nötig, die über die Zulassungsvoraussetzungen zum Masterstudium hinausgehen

Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature

Courses and Schedule

Learning and Teaching Methods

lecture, beamer presentation, board work


worksheets, lecture slides


1) Werner Massa and Robert O. Gould: Crystal Structure Determination, Springer
2) Walter Borchardt-Ott and Robert O. Gould: Crystallography: An Introduction, Springer 2011

Module Exam

Description of exams and course work

In an oral exam the learning outcome is tested using comprehension questions and sample problems.

In accordance with §12 (8) APSO the exam can be done as a written test. In this case the time duration is 60 minutes.

Exam Repetition

The exam may be repeated at the end of the semester.

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