The CryoEM Method MicroED as a Powerful Tool for Small Molecule Structure Determination

17 October 2018, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


In the many scientific endeavors that are driven by organic chemistry, unambiguous identification of small molecules is of paramount importance. Over the past 50 years, NMR and other powerful spectroscopic techniques have been developed to address this challenge. While almost all of these techniques rely on inference of connectivity, the unambiguous determination of a small molecule’s structure requires X-ray and/or neutron diffraction studies. In practice, however, x-ray crystallography is rarely applied in routine organic chemistry due to intrinsic limitations of both the analytes and the technique. Here we report the use of the CryoEM method MicroED to provide routine and unambiguous structural determination of small organic molecules. From simple powders, with minimal sample preparation, we could collect high quality MicroED data from nanocrystals (~100x100x100 nm, ~10–15g) resulting in atomic resolution (<1 Å) crystal structures in minutes.


Small Molecules
Structure Determination
Organic Chemistry


Comments are not moderated before they are posted, but they can be removed by the site moderators if they are found to be in contravention of our Commenting Policy [opens in a new tab] - please read this policy before you post. Comments should be used for scholarly discussion of the content in question. You can find more information about how to use the commenting feature here [opens in a new tab] .
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy [opens in a new tab] and Terms of Service [opens in a new tab] apply.