First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Science
Course unit
SC01123243, A.A. 2018/19

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2018/19

Information on the course unit
Degree course Second cycle degree in
CHEMISTRY (Ord. 2018)
SC1169, Degree course structure A.Y. 2018/19, A.Y. 2018/19
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Degree course track Common track
Number of ECTS credits allocated 6.0
Type of assessment Mark
Website of the academic structure
Department of reference Department of Chemical Sciences
Mandatory attendance No
Language of instruction Italian
Single Course unit The Course unit can be attended under the option Single Course unit attendance
Optional Course unit The Course unit can be chosen as Optional Course unit


ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Core courses CHIM/02 Physical Chemistry 2.0
Core courses CHIM/03 General and Inorganic Chemistry 2.0
Core courses CHIM/06 Organic Chemistry 2.0

Course unit organization
Period Second semester
Year 1st Year
Teaching method frontal

Type of hours Credits Teaching
Hours of
Individual study
Lecture 6.0 48 102.0 No turn

Start of activities 25/02/2019
End of activities 14/06/2019
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2018 course timetable

Examination board
Board From To Members of the board
5 2019/20 27/01/2014 30/11/2020 BATTISTUTTA ROBERTO (Presidente)
MAMMI STEFANO (Membro Effettivo)
ZANOTTI GIUSEPPE (Membro Effettivo)

Prerequisites: Basics of mathematics, physics and biological chemistry.
Target skills and knowledge: The course deals with the modern methodologies for the determination of the 3D atomic structure of small molecules, organic and inorganic, and biological macromolecules by X-ray diffraction techniques on single crystals. The basics of diffraction and molecular structure determination will be presented, with particular emphasis on most recent advances mainly in the field of macromolecular crystallography. The basics of powder diffraction will be introduced.
The course will benefit from examples of structure determination of particular interest, and from the guided reading of recent scientific papers on advanced crystallographic topics.
Examination methods: Oral examination.
Assessment criteria: Comprehension of the course topics and capacity of utilization.
Course unit contents: Overview of crystallography: crystals, X-ray diffraction and the mathematics of crystallography. Crystallization: properties, growth and quality of crystals; crystallization techniques and strategies; crystallization of proteins.
Crystal geometry: periodic lattices and symmetry in 3D; space groups; reciprocal lattice and reciprocal space symmetry; systematic absences.
Diffraction basics: scattering of X-rays; atomic scattering factors, structure factor and B-factor; geometric principles of diffraction, Bragg law, Ewald sphere and Friedel pairs; anomalous scattering and Bijvoet pairs.
Instrumentation and data collection techniques: overview, data reduction.
The basics of the diffraction of polycrystalline materials (powder diffraction).
From diffraction data to electron density: introduction; Fourier transform and diffraction; the phase problem; Patterson function and Patterson maps.
Experimental phasing: solving the phase problem; marker atom substructure methods; isomorphous replacement (MIR, SIR), anomalous scattering (SAD, MAD), SIRAS, direct methods, molecular replacement; improvement of phases, density modification techniques.
Model building and refinement: principles and practice.
Structure validation and analysis: judging the molecular model, judging the quality and usefulness of the refined model.
Examples of protein structure determination by macromolecular crystallography.
Reading a crystallographic paper.
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: Lessons and guided demonstrations.
Additional notes about suggested reading: Lesson slides.
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • Bernhard Rupp, Biomolecular crystallography. New York: Garland Science, 2010. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Giacovazzo, Monaco, Artioli, Viterbo, Ferraris, Gilli, Zanotti, Catti, Fundamentals of Crystallography, 2nd Edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Cerca nel catalogo

Innovative teaching methods: Teaching and learning strategies
  • Lecturing
  • Problem based learning
  • Case study
  • Interactive lecturing
  • Working in group
  • Questioning
  • Problem solving
  • Peer feedback
  • Peer assessment
  • Use of online videos
  • Loading of files and pages (web pages, Moodle, ...)

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Quality Education