ECA SIG4 Publication Award for 2023

Tatiana E. Gorelik
Meng Ge, the first author of the awarded publication.

Electron crystallography (3D ED/MicroED) has experienced significant growth in recent decades as a powerful method for structure determination. Many crystal structures that were previously challenging to determine using classical crystallographic techniques can now be elucidated with the aid of electron diffraction. Recognizing the importance of this field, the flagship journal of the IUCr, IUCrJ, has introduced a dedicated section on electron crystallography.

To further support method development and encourage innovative applications of this technique, the Special Interest Group for Electron Crystallography (SIG4) of the European Crystallographic Association (ECA) has established a distinguished publication award in the field of electron crystallography. The award committee consists of internationally renowned scientists, including established electron diffraction experts and newcomers to the electron crystallography field. The involvement of diverse committee members ensures an unbiased evaluation of the submitted nominations.

After carefully evaluating the nominated publications, the committee unanimously decided to present the SIG4 Distinguished Publication Award for 2023 to the paper titled "Direct Location of Organic Molecules in Framework Materials by Three-Dimensional Electron Diffraction" by Meng Ge, Taimin Yang, Hongyi Xu, Xiaodong Zou and Zhehao Huang, published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society [Ge et al. (2022). 144, 15165−15174].

[Fig. 1]

The presented research is driven by the application of electron crystallography to framework materials. It clearly delivers a number of important structures that illustrate the power of the technique. The authors provide ample detail regarding the structure solution process, refinement and a careful analysis of the factors influencing the outcome. This work illustrates to a wider, more applied audience that some of the promise of electron diffraction is now possible, i.e. the location of hydrogen atoms, and provides a basis by which others may follow. This paper ‘moves the dial’ in terms of demonstrating the power of electron crystallography while giving an empowering feeling that others can achieve the same kind of results. The chemistry that this paper presents, made possible by electron crystallography, is both exciting and indicative of the promising future of this technique. Consequently, this publication surpasses being perceived as "just another demonstration of the power of electron crystallography" and stands as much more than that.

We extend our heartfelt congratulations to the authors of this publication and wish them continued success in their future endeavours. Furthermore, we eagerly anticipate the publication of other exciting research in the field of electron crystallography in the years to come.


Tatiana E. Gorelik is chair of ECA SIG4. 
2 June 2023

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