"All we have discovered is that it starts with a single individual - always a child - and then spreads explosively, like the formation of crystals round the first nucleus in a saturated solution." Arthur C. Clarke (Childhood's End, 1953)


Our customer service policy is simple: our attitude is friendly, respectful and professional. All of our customers (JHU and non-JHU) receive equal treatment. We provide expertise, quality results and prompt feedback on samples. Our service can be tailored according to your needs. We offer a broad variety of services, and we do accept samples from both academic and non-academic institutions (a non-disclosure/confidentiality agreement can be made on request). For non-JHU users, you can contact the X-ray facility manager at xray@jhu.edu so that an estimate of your needs can be made. We are also eager for scientific collaborations.

  • Small-molecule crystallography: crystals of organic, inorganic, organometallic and coordination compounds.
  • Protein crystallography: crystal screening and data collection for small to moderately sized proteins.
  • Air/moisture/temperature sensitive samples.
  • Inspection for crystal quality (under polarizing stereo microscope and N2 cold stream for unstable samples).
  • Searches for known compounds in the Cambridge Structural Database (CSD).
  • Low-T data collection (110 K) using either Molybdenum (Mo) or Copper (Cu) Kα radiation with redundant data ( typically 3-6 but higher if required).
  • Temperature dependence (T-range: 100-300 K) of the cell dimensions/structure via a semi-automatic procedure.
  • Data collection temperature can be selected from 100 to 300 K (ΔT = ± 1 K).
  • Record a jpeg movie of the crystal sample (used for crystal face indexing).
  • Analytical numeric absorption correction using a multifaceted crystal model.
  • Structure solution & refinement.
  • Ordered, disordered, twinned, high-Z', pseudosymmetric, commensurately modulated structures.
  • Absolute structure determination for enantiopure compounds (including organic compounds with non-heavy elements).
  • Other areas of interest: polymorphism (polymorph screening), solid-solid phase transitions, solvates/co-crystals.
  • Final report including the edited cif file, an experimental report, ORTEP plot(s), data files, etc.
  • Advice/consultancy/analyses on structural results.

  • Package I: This package includes crystal screening and is only concerned with protein X-ray crystallography. Crystal screening aims to: (i) differentiate whether the target crystal is concerned with a protein or a salt. (ii) investigate the quality of the diffraction (i.e., the maximum resolution at which the crystal diffracts). Note: this package does NOT include unit cell determination.

    Package II: This package includes unit cell determination + crystal face indexing (optional). Intensities are typically measured at 110 K (the temperature can be selected from 100 to 300 K if necessary). CSD searches are always performed afterwards in order to check whether the crystal structures have been previously reported or are new. Results + additional files are provided via email the same day. Expected workload: 10-60 mins.

    Package III: Same as package II (including crystal face indexing) + data collection/reduction + analytical absorption corrections. Intensities are typically measured at 110 K (the temperature can be selected from 100 to 300 K if necessary). Data resolution as high as 0.77-0.84 Å (or even higher if necessary) is generally desired. Results + .HKL file (data file) + additional files are provided via email within 2 weekdays. Expected workload: 1-2 days.

    Package IV: Same as package III + structure solution/refinement. Results + finalized set of files (ZIP package) are provided via email within a few weekdays. Expected workload: a few weekdays [1-2 days for straightforward structures; several days up to weeks for difficult structures].

    A typical data package type IV for a test crystal (sucrose) is available free of charge here.


    non-JHU Academic
    Package I
    $10.00 per hour
    $15.00 per hour
    $40.00 per hour
    Package II
    Package III
    Package IV

    Details about submission can be found here.
    For a recent list of publications, please click here.