Single crystal X-ray crystallography is a central method for determining the detailed structures of solid materials. Such structures are important in understanding structure-property relationships in a wide variety of materials, including those used in applications such as solar cells and batteries. This method is also widely used in establishing the structures of molecules used as pharmaceutical agents. Despite its importance, this method is frequently not taught in undergraduate curricula. The primary goal of the 2020 Pacific Northwest Summer Crystallographic Institute to be held at Whitworth University is to develop the expertise of 20-25 undergraduate students and their faculty mentors in single-crystal X-ray crystallographic techniques. Workshop attendees will be exposed to a full range of crystallographic topics from crystal growth to the preparation of data for publication and will do hands-on sample preparation and data collection. In addition, the pedagogical approach of this project helps to i) increase collaboration among institutions located in the Pacific Northwest and ii) develop the teaching and research capacity in the structural sciences at the participants’ home institutions. This award, supported by the Solid State and Materials Chemistry program within the Division of Materials Research, defrays participant costs for students and their mentors to attend the workshop. The diversity of the workshop will be further enhanced by supporting the participation of junior scholars and faculty from underrepresented and marginalized groups in STEM.
Research demands on faculty at primarily undergraduate institutions (PUIs) are increasing, requiring reliable, modern instrumentation to advance research agendas and improve undergraduate education. Given the cost and required expertise to manage single-crystal X-ray diffraction equipment, it is not surprising that structural studies via crystallographic techniques is often absent at PUIs. The pedagogical objective of this project is to provide participants with formal and hands-on training in the practical aspects of crystallography with emphasis placed on increasing research and teaching capacity. This 2020 Pacific Northwest Summer Crystallographic Institute to be held at Whitworth University will facilitate access to a broad user base of U.S. scientists that will encourage collaboration on state-of-the-art instrumentation. This award, supported by the Solid State and Materials Chemistry program within the Division of Materials Research, will provide support to defray the registration and travel costs for workshop participants — 20-25 undergraduate students and their faculty mentors. Faculty participants will find that easy access to structural data enhances the innovation and outcomes of their current research programs.
This award reflects NSF’s statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation’s intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.