Welcome to the

International Union of Crystallography

The IUCr is an International Scientific Union. Its objectives are to promote international cooperation in crystallography and to contribute to all aspects of crystallography, to promote international publication of crystallographic research, to facilitate standardization of methods, units, nomenclatures and symbols, and to form a focus for the relations of crystallography to other sciences.

IUCr Newsletter




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Bids are invited to host PCCr3 or PCCr4

[PCCr logo]Following the highly successful First Pan African Conference on Crystallography (PCCr1) in Dschang, Cameroon, in 2016 and PCCr2 in Accra, Ghana, in 2019, bids are now invited to host PCCr3 or PCCr4. The proposals should be submitted by the proposed Chair of the Local Organising Committee to Dr Patrice Kenfack Tsobnang, the Secretary of the African Crystallographic Association (AfCA) Steering Committee by 15 March 2019. After examining the bids, the AfCA Steering Committee will vote on the location of PCCr3 and PCCr4. A decision is due by 1 April 2019. Please see guidelines for preparing proposals and guidance for PCCr organisers.

Follow the progress towards the AfCA on Facebook!

Posted 15 Feb 2019 

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IUCr Gender Equity and Diversity Committee

The IUCr is proud to announce the formation of a Gender Equity and Diversity Committee (GEDC). The GEDC aims to address issues and establish new practices and policies to overcome inequity in the IUCr's processes. The Committee's terms of reference can be found here.

The current members of the GEDC are as follows:

[GEDC]
  • Jenny Martin (IUCr Executive Committee member, Australia)
  • Sven Lidin (IUCr President, Sweden)
  • Annalisa Guerri (member of the IUCr Calendar Committee that awards funding for crystallography conferences, University of Florence, Italy)
  • Michele Zema (representative from IUCr Chester office)
  • Helen Maynard-Casely (ANSTO instrument scientist, Australia)
  • Claire Murray (Beamline Support Scientist, Diamond Synchrotron, UK)
  • Christine Beavers (Principal Beamline Scientist, Diamond Synchrotron, UK)

(Helen, Claire and Christine are three of the four authors of the IUCr blog "Women in Crystallography – we’re not just historical").

The Chair is asking for volunteers to complete the Committee. Jenny's message is:

The GEDC can have up to 10 members, and we currently have seven. So the next step is to find up to three more members of our community who are committed to addressing gender equity and diversity. To do that we need to address our own committee imbalance in geography and gender.

If you are interested in volunteering to join the GEDC, or would like to nominate someone that you think would do a good job, please contact Jenny or IUCr Executive Secretary Alex Ashcroft.

Posted 08 Feb 2019 

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Registration for Summer School on Mathematical Crystallography now open

The registration for the Summer School on Mathematical Crystallography (MaThCryst), due to be held in Nancy, France, between 3 and 7 June 2019, is now open.

Deadline for Registration Application: 31st March 2019

For further information, please visit:

Posted 14 Jan 2019 

research news


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Special issue on mineralogical crystallography

[B cover Dec 18]For many centuries crystallography and mineralogy were part of a single discipline, and it was impossible to separate one from the other. In fact even the early works of Theophrastus (On Stones) and Pliny's Natural History show that the beginnings of both sciences have the same roots. In fact, crystallography grew out of mineralogy because in Steno's time the only crystals available for study were those of minerals. In the 20th century, however, the two sciences went their separate ways, but even today crystallographic research is an important part of mineralogy and mineralogical research is still an important part of crystallography. The December 2018 issue of Acta Cryst. B includes a special issue devoted to mineralogical crystallography and collects some important contributions that demonstrate the diversity of crystallographic ideas and methods developed to solve valuable issues in mineralogy.

There are some 5 500 (and growing) different mineral species known today [1] compared with more than 1 200 000 biological species described so far! Some of these mineral species are rare and occur in only a few localities, whereas others crystallize in the range of millions of tons in the Earth's crust. The latter are called 'rock-forming minerals' and their study is of utmost importance for our understanding of the behaviour of rocks on and beneath the Earth's surface.

[1] Pasero, M. (2018). The new IMA list of minerals, accessed 4 December 2018.

Sergey V. Krivovichev, Janusz Lipkowski and Stuart J. Mills
Guest Editors

Posted 21 Dec 2018

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Jenny Martin to lead University of Wollongong's research and innovation strategy

[Jenny Martin]

IUCr Executive Committee member Jenny Martin has been appointed as Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) by the University of Wollongong (UOW), Australia. The current director of the Griffith Institute for Drug Discovery at Griffiths University will pursue a research strategy that is “values-based” from next March.

“My vision is for a research strategy that encompasses the values that I hold dear: excellence, respect, integrity and collegiality,” Professor Martin said. “In a high-performing research organisation like UOW we expect to recruit and retain researchers of the highest calibre, and that means providing the support and opportunity for early-career, mid-career and senior researchers to pursue excellence. I also want to bring an element of entrepreneurship and innovation into everything that we do, and I am excited about the opportunity to engage with industry, government and the community." She added that she was also looking forward to working with dedicated and highly talented people from all disciplines - across the arts, humanities, social sciences, engineering, information sciences, business, law as well as science, medicine and health. “That breadth of knowledge, innovation and creativity takes me back to my Oxford days when I was living in college with students from the humanities, with archaeologists and political scientists and engineers. I loved the diversity and the opportunity to communicate with people across discipline boundaries. That is where the greatest innovations occur.”

Professor Martin was made a Companion of the Order of Australia earlier this year for “eminent service to scientific research, particularly in the field of biochemistry and protein crystallography applied to drug-resistant bacteria, as a role model, and as an advocate for gender equality in science”. She is also a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, current President of the Asian Crystallographic Association and a former Editor of Acta Cryst. D.

For more information, please see here.

Posted 18 Dec 2018 

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Special issue on Polyoxometalates

[me0669]The November 2018 issue of Acta Crystallographica Section C Structural Chemistry marks a special anniversary of an exciting class of inorganic compounds: polyoxometalates (POMs). In their Guest Editorial, José Ramón Galán-Mascarós and Ulrich Kortz note that the very first POM structure, the so-called Keggin ion ([PW12O40]3−), was structurally characterized by James F. Keggin 85 years ago in 1933 using powder X-ray diffraction. This was an important breakthrough for POM chemistry, as from then on structural aspects became more relevant and allowed the field to be developed more rationally. In the same year, Michael T. Pope was born, who went on to publish the book Heteropoly and Isopoly Oxometalates in 1983, widely agreed still to be the best introductory text to the field.

During the last half century or so, the development of POM chemistry has benefitted tremendously from single-crystal X-ray diffraction. Besides structural aspects, the study of the physicochemical properties of POMs has developed tremendously in recent decades. The multitude of attractive properties includes controllable size, composition, charge density, redox potential, acid strength, high thermal stability in the solid state, solubility in polar/nonpolar solvents and reversible electron/proton storage. Such versatility renders POMs of interest for academic and industrial applications, especially in catalysis but also in fields such as medicine, magnetism, photochemistry and materials science.

It is also worth mentioning how POM chemistry has contributed to the development of crystallography itself. The presence of POMs (in particular heteropolytungstates) in solution often allows large biomolecules to be crystallized, and facilitates X-ray structure solution and refinement due to their high symmetry, robust mol­ecular structure and heavy-atom content. The history of POMs has progressed from the seminal work of Keggin (working under the supervision of Lawrence Bragg and influenced by Linus Pauling) developing powder X-ray diffraction analysis in the early 20th century, to the role of POMs as cocrystallizing agents for large biologically relevant molecules, such as ribosomes, finally leading to the 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry (Ramakrishnan, Steitz and Yonath).

The contributions to this special issue on POMs provide an excellent overview of the current state of the subject, as well as providing updates to current research. Acta C is transforming from a structural (XRD) solid-state journal to a more general journal covering all aspects of structural chemistry, and the Guest Editors hope that this special issue on POMs will assist the journal in achieving its goals.

Posted 06 Nov 2018