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About Department of Crystallography and Crystal Chemistry

Department 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 Academician Prof. N.V. Belov was head of the Department and outstanding leader of teaching and studying in all fields of crystallography. Starting from 1983 and up to now the Department is headed by Academician of Russian Academy of Sciences Prof. V.S. Urusov. Nowadays the staff consists of 25 people - teaches, researchers, engineers.
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 Department. All in all more than 200 new crystal structures of minerals were established by members of the staff. Another important field of activity of this 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 base 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 are the other important fields of investigation (Prof. V.S. Urusov, Dr. E.L. Belokoneva, Dr. O.V. Yakubovich, Dr. N.N. Eremin). One more 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 resent 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.
Apart of crystal chemistry and X-ray diffraction groups, the Department includes 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, e.g. 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.
Department of Crystallography and Crystal Chemistry is responsible for crystallography education of all the students (about 200 per year) of Geological Faculty of Moscow State University as well as for special education of bachelors, masters and PhD students in the field of crystallography and crystal chemistry (5-6 students and 3-4 post-graduate students per year). The main teaching 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 text-books (in Russian) have been published by the teachers of Department: “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.


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