Degree course: 
Corso di Second cycle degree in CHEMISTRY
Academic year when starting the degree: 
Academic year in which the course will be held: 
Second semester
Standard lectures hours: 

- General and inorganic chemistry basic and advanced knowledge.
- Physics and mathematics basic knowledge.
- Robust background in the fields of structural chemistry and X-ray diffraction theory.
- Basic knowledge of the techniques and instrumentation for performing X-ray powder diffraction experiments.

1) Oral presentation on a subject chosen by the student and related to the arguments of the lectures (% of the final grade: 40%).
2) Oral test, based on about 3 questions related to the course program (% of the final grade: 50%).
3) Evaluation of the report on the practical exercises written by the student, in terms of critical interpretation of the results obtained (% of the final grade: 10%).

Voto Finale

The main goal of the course is presenting methodological and structural aspects for the characterization of ionic and molecular solids, mostly, but not only, of inorganic nature.
During the first part of the course, some aspects of the wide world of the solid state chemistry will be introduced, with particular emphasis towards the structural description of inorganic crystalline materials and their defectiveness, to the structural- properties relationships of these materials and to the interplay between their functional properties and technological applications.
In the second part, the knowledge acquired during the course of “Strutturistica Chimica” will be developed, with particular reference towards powder diffraction characterization methods. Frontier methodologies for structural and microstructural characterization of defective materials and nanomaterials will be also presented and described (with the aid of practical sessions).

-Chistal Chemistry
- Structural defects in crystals and nanocrystals
- Main properties of solid state materials
-X-ray powder diffraction and total scattering methods for the structural and microstructural characterization of crystalline materials.

- Crystal Chemistry: close packing of spheres; interstitial cavities; hcp, fcc and bcc solids; polytypism of crystal structures; coordination polyhedra; reference inorganic structure (halite, sphalerite, fluorite-antifluorite, diamond, wurtzite, CsCl, AX2 and A2X compounds); oxides with AmBnOp structure (perovskites and spinels); silica and silicates classification.
- Structural defects, non-stoichiometric solids and solid solutions: intrinsic points defects (Schottky, Frenkel), extrinsic point defects, color centers; non-stoichiometric compounds; solid solutions; Vegard Law and other methods for the characterization of the solid solutions. Exended defects: shear planes, intergrowths, stacking faults, antiphase domains, dislocations.
- Electronic, magnetic and optical properties of solid materials.
- Polymorphism: concept development and nomenclature; technological relevance; structural origin; thermodynamic description of monotropic and enantiotropic polymorphs; examples.
- Revision on the diffraction theory.
- Powder diffraction: indexing and structural solution; the Rietveld method; X-Ray scattering techniques for the structural and microstructural characterization of crystalline (defective) and nanocrystalline materials
-Elements of Small Angle X-Ray Scattering

Suggested textbook:

“Crystallography and Crystal Chemistry” di F. Donald Bloss. Mineralogical Society of America.

“Polymorphism in Molecular Crystals” di Joel Bernstein. Oxford Science Publications.

“Fundamentals of Crystallography", di C. Giacovazzo, H.L. Monaco, G. Artioli, D. Viterbo, G. Ferraris, G. Gilli, G. Zanotti, M. Catti. Oxford University Press.

“Fundamentals of Crystallography", by C. Giacovazzo, H.L. Monaco, G. Artioli, D. Viterbo, G. Ferraris, G.Gilli, G. Zanotti, M. Catti. Oxford University Press.

“Crystallography for health and biosciences”, by A. Guagliardi and N. Masciocchi, Insubria University Press.

Materials (slides, book chapters) provided during the course.


Part A + Part B of the course: 54 hours of classroom lectures and 10 hours of practical exercises on the applications of total scattering methods to the structural and microstructural characterization of nanocrystalline materials.

For any information, contact by e-mail: