Meeting report

Seventh Belgian Symposium

Brussels, Belgium, October 2012

[Brussels venue]
[BCS-7 speakers] Speakers at the Seventh Belgian Crystallography Symposium BCS-7. Andrew Thompson, Yaroslav Filinchuk and Elias Vlieg.

More than 80 scientists took part in the Seventh Belgian Crystallography Symposium, BCS-7, which was held on October 10, 2012, at the Academy House, adjacent to the Royal Palace in Brussels, under the aegis of the Belgian National Committee for Crystallography. Due to the success of previous BCS meetings, the National Committee for Crystallography organizes this symposium at biennial intervals to promote contacts between Belgian scientists using diffraction and microscopy techniques for studies in the fields of condensed matter chemistry and physics, materials sciences, earth sciences and life sciences. As one of the main objectives was to promote personal contacts, plenary lectures were limited to three and given by distinguished colleagues in widely different fields.

During the opening lecture by Andrew Thompson (Gif-sur-Yvette), a nice overview was given of the use of synchrotron radiation in the case where one has tiny crystals or tiny anomalous signals. The macromolecular crystallography beamline PROXIMA 1 at SOLEIL uses hereby the flexibility of the multi-axis geometry. Complex hydrides such as bimetallic borohydrides are the favorite study materials of Yaroslav Filinchuk (Louvain-la-Neuve). These materials can be used for hydrogen storage and their structure and reactivity are studied mainly by in situ powder diffraction. The morning session was closed by Elias Vlieg (Nijmegen) with a talk on crystal growth. Examples in the field of nanowires and high-quality protein crystals were shown, as well as the use of grinding techniques to convert racemic mixtures into chirally pure compounds.

A poster session and commercial exhibition was organized during lunchtime. For the afternoon session, three oral presentations were selected from the submitted abstracts (Cedric Gommes, Liège; Senne Van Rompaey, Antwerp; Neil Brooks, Leuven). Two poster prizes were awarded, to Maria Batuk (Antwerp) and Stephen Weeks (Leuven). The meeting was sponsored by the Royal Academies of Sciences and Art of Belgium, and by the firms Agilent, Bruker AXS, FEI Europe, STOE, Sysmex and Xenocs.

Luc Van Meervelt