A Caltech Library Service

Development of Microcrystal Electron Diffraction Techniques for the Characterization of Small Molecules and Novel Materials


Jones, Christopher Glenn (2024) Development of Microcrystal Electron Diffraction Techniques for the Characterization of Small Molecules and Novel Materials. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/cfnr-f362.


Traditional techniques for structural analysis, such as X-ray crystallography and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR), have been invaluable in understanding the composition of various substances. However, these methods often encounter challenges when applied to the analysis of small molecules and certain novel materials, particularly those that cannot form large, high-quality crystals. The research presented here focuses on the evolution and applications of Microcrystal Electron Diffraction (MicroED), a transformative technique that has expanded the boundaries of structural analysis. We trace the developmental trajectory of MicroED, exploring its underlying principles, technological advancements, and comparative advantages over conventional methods. A variety of data from several key studies was collected through a series of experiments utilizing MicroED to analyze a range of substances, from small organic molecules to complex novel materials and innovative inorganic complexes. MicroED offers unprecedented resolution and sensitivity, capable of structural elucidation where other methods fail. In particular, MicroED has been successful in determining the structures of several novel materials and small molecules with applications in areas such as renewable energy, advanced manufacturing, and pharmaceuticals. Furthermore, this technique is highly amenable to integration with other analytical and computational methods, including machine learning algorithms for data interpretation, enhancing its applicability and efficiency. This research contends that MicroED is not merely an alternative but a substantial upgrade to existing methodologies, holding the potential to revolutionize fields as diverse as materials science, chemistry, and medicine.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Electron Crystallography, MicroED, Crystallography, Structural Chemistry
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
Major Option:Chemistry
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Nelson, Hosea M.
Thesis Committee:
  • Stoltz, Brian M. (chair)
  • Rees, Douglas C.
  • Manthiram, Karthish
  • Nelson, Hosea M.
Defense Date:30 August 2023
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Sloan Research FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
Pew Charitable TrustsUNSPECIFIED
Packard FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:11172023-202811116
Persistent URL:
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription adapted for Chapter 2 adapted for Chapter 3 adapted for Chapter 4 adapted for Chapter 5 adapted for Chapter 6 adapted for Chapter 7 adapted for Chapter 8 adapted for Chapter 9 adapted for Chapter 10
Jones, Christopher Glenn0000-0003-4308-1368
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:16249
Deposited By: Christopher Jones
Deposited On:06 Dec 2023 17:03
Last Modified:12 Dec 2023 17:04

Thesis Files

[img] PDF - Final Version
See Usage Policy.


Repository Staff Only: item control page