Important facts of Growing X-ray Quality Crystals

Do you want to be able to understand physicochemical properties of your Active Ingredient? Would you like to know the crystal structure of your active ingredient? Do you see the need of having the molecular structure confirmed? Growing X-ray quality crystals would help you to answer these questions. Why specifically quality crystals? Quality crystals will ensure you are not losing useful chemical information.

What is a good quality X-ray crystal? It exhibits a high degree of internal order as evidence by the presence of an X-ray diffraction pattern and reaches in size between 0.1 - 0.4 mm. Having the right attitude towards growing crystals is important; giving the required attention and care is trivial.


The CrystalBreeder instrument comes to aid your research for good quality crystals. It allows you to create a miniature research project by using the minimal amount needed for crystallization. With only 1-2 mg of compound, you can conduct a crystallization experiment. Considering empirically established physical properties, you can design a crystallization program where you can vary and control parameters such as temperature. Due to the flexibility of the CrystalBreeder, nucleation can not only take place by evaporation of the solvent, but also by adding controlled temperature profiles. Setting up crystallization experiments in parallel using different conditions will maximize your chance of success in a relatively short time.


The choice of proper solvent is crucial for growing good quality crystals. The presence of benzene-like solvents can always help, but nevertheless avoid highly volatile or long chain solvents. The CrystalBreeder reactors are made of glass and are highly chemically resistant.


For good quality crystals, using moderate solubility is the best choice. TheCrystalBreeder can help you determine the solubility profile of your compound in a relatively short time by using a large number of chemically different solvents. Further, combining knowledge of solubility profile with different crystal growing techniques is crucial for success. Typical crystal growing techniques accessible on the CrystalBreeder are: slow cooling, slow evaporation, vapor diffusion, crystallization by layering technique, and crystallization from gels such as polyethylene glycol.


Too many nucleation sites will implicitly lower the crystal size, and therefore working with clean glassware is important. The CrystalBreeder uses 0.3 mL glass vials which can be easily purchased at low costs from many providers around the world. The 0.3 mL glass vials have the same dimensions and unique properties as standard NMR tubes which are commonly used by the experts for single crystal growth due to round bottom of the vial.


Not disturbing the crystallization experiments is highly important. Due to its robust design, our instrument helps you perform the experiments in a disruption free environment.


You can forget about your experiments and return two weeks later to collect your results. In the case that growing good quality X-ray crystals of your compound is becoming a challenge, chemical modification by making a salt or a co-crystal form of it can be of great help. Salt and co-crystal formation experiments can also be performed on the CrystalBreeder.

For further information on the CrystalBreeder™ instrument or growing good quality X-ray crystals, please visit or contact Technobis Crystallization Systems on +31 72 3020040/
1. Spong B R, Price C P, Jayashanker A, Matzer A J and Hornedo N R, "General principles of pharmaceutical solid polymorphism. A supramolecular perspective", Advance Drug Delivery Review (2004), 56, 241-274
2. Childs S L, Chyall L J, Dunlap J T, Coates D A, Stahly B C and Stahly G P, "A Metastable polymorph of metformin hydrochloride: Isolation and characterization using capillary crystallization and thermal microscopy techniques", Crystal Growth and Design (2004), 4, 441-449.
3. Stahly G P, "Diversity in Single- and Multiple-Component Crystals. The Search for and Prevalence of Polymorphs and Cocrystals", Crystal Growth and Design (2007), 6, 1007-1026.
4. Spingler B, Schnidrig S, Todorova T, Wild F, "Some thoughts about the single crystal growth of small molecules ", CrystEngComm (2012) 14, 751-757.
5. Picture - Libbrecht K G, "The Physics of snow crystals ", Reports on Progress in Physics (2005), 68, 855-895.