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Automated Single Crystal Structure Determination - A Tool for Synthetic Chemists?

During recent years large improvements in software functionality and its ease-of-use have made single crystal X-ray structure determination easier than ever. These days most structures can be measured, processed, solved and refined using well selected defaults with no or little crystallographic knowledge. Recently, microfocus sources and CCD detectors both air-cooled, have entered the marketplace. Combining these innovations with an automated sample loader and an intelligent graphical user interface allows for the design of a table top single crystal diffractometer, which only requires a standard single phase power connection and no cooling water at all. An instrument taking advantage from these software and hardware developments would enable synthetic chemists or pharmacists to perform a complete single crystal structure analysis almost next to the reaction flask.
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