Special Issue "Recent Advances in Electron Crystallography for Radiation-Sensitive Materials"

A special issue of Crystals (ISSN 2073-4352). This special issue belongs to the section "Biomolecular Crystals".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 October 2019.

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Guy Schoehn E-Mail
Institut de Biologie Structurale (IBS), Grenoble, France
Interests: cryo-electron microscopy; high resolution; virus; protein complex
Guest Editor
Dr. Dominique Housset E-Mail
Institut de Biologie Structurale (IBS), Grenoble, France
Interests: macromolecular X-ray and electron crystallography; structural biology; data processing; protein–protein interactions
Guest Editor
Dr. Wai Li Ling E-Mail
Institut de Biologie Structurale (IBS), Grenoble, France
Interests: nucleation; crystal growth; nanoparticles; immunology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The past decade has been a very exciting time for electron crystallography. Once limited to inorganic materials resistant to radiation damage, electron crystallography is now being applied to less-robust crystals, including hybrid materials, pharmaceutical molecules, and even proteins, using the transmission electron microscope.

The recent progress owes much to advances in instrumentation. Hardware and software originally developed for electron tomography in the imaging mode are employed to acquire diffraction data analogous to data collection in X-ray crystallography. Low-dose imaging, developed for imaging protein samples, avoids non-essential exposure of the sample to the electron beam. Cryo-electron microscopy, renowned for protein structural resolution by single-particle analysis, not only allows protein crystals to be preserved in their native hydrated state, but also limits the radiation damage when crystals are exposed to the electron beam. Lastly, the availability of hybrid pixel detectors for electron microscopes has definitely accelerated the expansion of the use of electron crystallography on radiation-sensitive materials.

With all these advances, many areas are under active development. Whereas conventional X-ray crystallography requires crystals of over a micron in size, electron diffraction is limited to thin crystals due to the mean-free path of the electron. Beyond the range of optical microscopes, the detection of crystals in this size range is a challenge. The production of nanocrystals—especially well-diffracting ones—requires a different approach than in conventional crystallography. Electron microscopy grid preparation techniques for these nanocrystals are also being optimized. Detectors are constantly being improved, allowing for larger detector area and better tolerance for higher electron energy. X-ray crystallography software, which most data analyses of electron diffraction rely on, is being tuned to truly adapt to electron crystallography. Information from electron diffraction that are unavailable from X-ray diffraction (e.g., charge state) is being exploited. Potential problems, such as dynamical scattering, are also being tackled. This Special Issue gives us an opportunity to get an overview of these topics.

We welcome all contributions covering the application of electron crystallography to a broad range of radiation-sensitive materials and the development in the different areas of this exciting and quickly expanding discipline. 

Dr. Guy Schoehn
Dr. Dominique Housset
Dr. Wai Li Ling
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Crystals is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • electron diffraction
  • nanocrystals
  • cryo-electron microscopy
  • macromolecular high-resolution structure

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
Back to TopTop