The European Physical Journal Special Topics

, Volume 208, Issue 1, pp 67–74

Determination of absolute chirality using resonant X-ray diffraction


    • RIKEN SPring-8 Centre
  • S. W. Lovesey
    • ISIS Facility and Diamond Light Source Ltd.
Open AccessRegular Article

DOI: 10.1140/epjst/e2012-01607-2

Cite this article as:
Tanaka, Y. & Lovesey, S.W. Eur. Phys. J. Spec. Top. (2012) 208: 67. doi:10.1140/epjst/e2012-01607-2


We have demonstrated that resonant diffraction experiments using the circularly polarized X-ray beam absolutely determines the crystal chirality. Both berlinite and quartz crystals belonging to space group P3221 show higher azimuth-constant intensity for the negative (−) helicity beam than that for the the positive (+) helicity beam for space-group forbidden reflection 001. The relation is opposite for quartz crystal belonging to space group P3121. Theoretical calculation shows that this relation completely agrees with the experimental findings for the enantiomorphic space-group pair P3121 and P3221. This method is applicable to chiral motifs that occur in biomolecules, liquid crystals, ferroelectrics, and multiferroics, etc.

Copyright information

© EDP Sciences, Springer-Verlag 2012