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Crystallography and Crystal Chemistry

The Head of the Chair, Academician V.S.Urusov
The Head of the Chair, Academician V.S.Urusov
The Chair of Crystallography and Crystal Chemistry was founded in Lomonosov Moscow State University by Correspoding Member of USSR Academy of Sciences Prof. G.B. Bokii in 1949. Since 1961 the Chair was headed by Academician Prof. N.V. Belov, an outstanding leader in teaching and researching in all fields of crystallography. Starting from 1983 and up to now the Chair has been headed by Academician of Russian Academy of Sciences Prof. V.S. Urusov. Nowadays 25 people - teachers, researchers and engineers - are on the Chair staff.

The Chair of Crystallography and Crystal Chemistry provides education in the field of crystallography for all students of the Faculty of Geology of Moscow State University (about 200 students per year). Besides this, the Chair is responsible for specialized education in the field of crystallography and crystal chemistry provided for bachelors, masters and PhD students (5-6 students and 3-4 post-graduate students per year). The main courses are as follows: General Crystallography, Theory of Symmetry (Assoc. Prof. Yu.K. Egorov-Tismenko), Introduction to Crystal Chemistry and Advanced Theoretical Crystal Chemistry (Prof. V.S. Urusov, Assoc. Prof. N.N. Eremin), X-ray Diffraction and Crystal Structure Analysis (Prof. D.Yu. Puscharovsky, Senior teacher N.N. Zubkova), Crystal Morphology (Assoc. Prof. G.I. Dorokhova), Crystal Growth (Prof. N.N.Leonyuk, Senior teacher E.V. Koporulina).

In recent years the following main manuals (in Russian) have been published by the members of the Chair: "Crystallography" (1992) by Yu. Egorov-Tismenko et al., "Theory of Crystal Symmetry" (2000) by Yu. Egorov-Tismenko & G. Litvinskaya, "Theoretical Crystal Chemistry" (1987) by V. Urusov, "X-ray Diffractometry" (2000) by D. Puscharovsky, "Structural Types of Minerals" (1990) by D. Puscharovsky & V. Urusov , "Design of Probable Crystal Structures of Minerals" by V. Urusov et al. and others.

Students studying crystallography at the practical training in the Institute of Mineral Row Materials
Students studying crystallography at the practical training in the Institute of Mineral Row Materials
During all the time X-ray crystal structure determination of new minerals and their synthetic analogues remains the major part of scientific researches of the Chair. All in all more than 200 new crystal structures of minerals were determined by Chair. Another important field of activity of this research group (Corresponding Member of RAS Prof. D.Yu. Puscharovsky, Dr. E.L. Belokoneva, Dr. O.V. Yakubovich, Dr. Yu.K. Egorov-Tismenko, Dr. N.A. Yamnova, Dr. N.V. Zubkova) is mineral systematics and classification on the basis of their structural peculiarities, especially crystal chemistry, of the main rock-forming minerals: silicates, phosphates, borates, etc.

In the last 2 decades precision X-ray diffraction studies and electron density distribution analysis in oxide and silicate minerals represent one more important field of investigation (Prof. V.S. Urusov, Dr. E.L. Belokoneva, Dr. O.V. Yakubovich, Dr. N.N. Eremin). Another group of scientists (Dr. Yu.K. Kabalov, Dr. N.V. Zubkova) is deeply involved in modern powder diffraction methods with Rietveld refinement of the mineral crystal structures, including series of new mineral structure determination.

The central point in the domain of theoretical crystal chemistry is occupied by development of energetic analysis of stability and properties of the pure crystals and solid solutions. The recent activity of the group (Prof. V.S. Urusov, Dr. N.N. Eremin) is concentrated on the problem of computer modeling of structures and properties of mineral and inorganic solids using semi-empirical interatomic potentials as well as on the development of atomistic and phenomenological theory of isomorphous substitutions. The leading idea of the original approach is minimization of a crystal atomisation energy with account for the actual character of chemical bonds in crystals.

Crystal structure of a mineral defined by the members of the Chair
Crystal structure of a mineral defined by the members of the Chair
Besides crystal chemistry and X-ray diffraction groups, the Chair has two laboratories of single crystal growth: the growth from high-T complex flux melts (Prof. N.I. Leonyuk, Dr. V.V. Maltsev) and the growth from hydrothermal solutions (Dr. O.V. Dimitrova). Most crystals obtained in these labs possess technologically useful properties and are applied in lasers, fiber optics, ferroelectrics, high-T superconductors, super ionic conductors, etc. Many of synthetic crystals of new compounds are the subjects of the supplemented detailed crystal structure determination.

  Russia, Moscow 119899, Vorobievy Gory, MSU, Faculty of Geology , Phone: (095)939-2970 Fax: (095)932-8889, E-mail:  
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