Testimonial: University of Southern Denmark - XtaLAB Synergy-S

Prof. Christine McKenzie
University of Southern Denmark

Prof. Christine McKenzie from the Department of Physics, Chemistry and Pharmacy at the University of Southern Denmark purchased a new XtaLAB Synergy-S single crystal X-ray diffractometer with an Atlas S2 X-ray detector at the beginning of 2017. Below, Prof. McKenzie gives her thoughts and first impressions on her new system.

The new XtaLAB Synergy-S single crystal X-ray diffractometer has already shown many advantages at the University of Southern Denmark. Prof. McKenzie mentions a few here.

With our new instrument we were able to remove the backlog for data collections through rapid collection of good quality crystals. It has also permitted realistic use of single crystal crystallography as in integral part of undergraduate laboratory classes. The “What-Is-This (WIT)” function means that students’ crystals can be checked more or less immediately. There is no longer the sense that we can’t waste our time and valuable machine time on crystals of well-known compounds. (And regardless, for the students it is still a discovery process.) WIT is faster than NMR spectroscopy! The result is that they truly understand the advantage of carefully crystallizing as opposed to “precipitating” their products and the power of this method in terms of the characterisation information. This is likely to result in an increase of the use of this method, particularly amongst the organic synthetic chemists.

The two most important benefits the XtaLAB Synergy-S system brings to the department:

  • User-friendly. This is particularly important for me, since we have a very low number of staff and no specialists that use the machine.
  • Potential to use the system to follow in-crystal reactions – previously only possible for us at the Diamond Light Source synchrotron.

Other features of the newly-acquired X-ray diffractometer that Prof. McKenzie has found important include:

  • Cu radiation has improved greatly our ability to deal with weakly diffracting crystals.
  • Ability to observed and process data remotely from the diffractometer
  • It is an advantage to not have to deal with external cooling water systems.
  • Quick to power up and change between the Cu and Mo X-ray sources.

Finally she adds

If you are new to CrysAlisPro it can take a bit of getting used to…most of this is a matter of language. There has been good help and advice from personnel from Rigaku Oxford Diffraction and I would definitely recommend this instrument to anyone considering making a purchase of a new diffractometer.