Crystal growth, a research-driven laboratory course

Jamie Whelan, Joseph Koussa, Ibrahim Chehade, Merima Sabanovic, Adrienne Chang, Daniel Carelli, Zhihua An, Lu Zhang, Joel Bernstein, Wael M. Rabeh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The research-driven laboratory experiment described herein has at its core the individual development of students, combining core subject matter with the opportunity to explore, in a research environment, areas outside of traditional curricula; however, it maintains the pedagogical training for an undergraduate major degree in chemistry and sciences in general. The laboratory can feasibly be implemented in high schools to expose students to an engaging and intellectually fulfilling aspect of chemistry early in their career. This seven-week project is based on the growth and study of crystals and encourages students, from the outset, to conceive, propose, design, plan and carry out their own research on chemicals and conditions of their own choosing. The wide array of laboratory equipment, analytical instrumentation and techniques that the students are potentially exposed to, from micropipettes and optical microscopes to scanning electron microscopy and powder X-ray diffraction, puts these projects on a par with senior capstone research projects. The feedback from the students for the seven years this project has been in operation is almost unanimous in enthusiasm and praise.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1474-1480
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Applied Crystallography
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2018


  • Crystal growth
  • Education
  • Research experience
  • Science laboratories
  • X-ray crystallography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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