Electron Diffraction Applications

Research output: Chapter


Gas-phase electron diffraction has produced structural parameters of the molecules of thousands of substances during its eight-decade history. It has contributed to the understanding of the nature of the chemical bond and has been instrumental in establishing trends of structural variations in extended classes of compounds. The most obvious information it provides is the molecular geometry (bond length, bond angles, and angles of rotation), but it also yields information about the vapor composition, energy differences of conformers, molecular force field, vibrational amplitudes, and other properties. The method is best for highly symmetrical molecules, in contrast with spectroscopic methods. There are limitations to its application; the larger and less symmetrical the molecule, the more difficult it is to resolve its different interatomic distances. It is advantageous to apply different, both experimental and theoretical, methods jointly for structure determination. Different structural techniques usually are sensitive to different characteristics of a molecule and may thus ideally complement each other. In the joint application of methods, quantum chemical calculations have played an increasing role.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Spectroscopy and Spectrometry
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages5
ISBN (Print)9780128032244
Publication statusPublished - jan. 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Instrumentation
  • Spectroscopy

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    Hargittai, M., & Hargittai, I. (2017). Electron Diffraction Applications. In Encyclopedia of Spectroscopy and Spectrometry (pp. 432-436). Elsevier Inc.. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-803224-4.00038-8