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© Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining 2015. X-ray crystallography is the most common technique for the determination of three-dimensional crystalline structures at the atomic scale. Since the discovery of the diffraction of X-rays by crystals over one hundred years ago, the technique has developed into an indispensable tool for material scientists and structural biologists worldwide. In this review, several milestones in the development of X-ray crystallography are presented, along with many of the Nobel laureates that made significant contributions to the success of the method. We conclude with a look at the current challenges in the field and speculate on the ensuing major developments that could lead to the next Nobel Prize related to X-ray crystallography.

Original publication




Journal article


Interdisciplinary Science Reviews

Publication Date





244 - 264