The Laboratory of Crystallography was set up in the late 60’s with the acquisition of a Philips XRD instrument and during the first 30 years of operation only crystal structure studies were carried out. Under the current name, Crystallography and Coordination Chemistry Materials Laboratory, it has been operating since 2014. The first single-crystal diffractometer was acquired in 1979. Ever since, the infrastructure of the laboratory is constantly upgraded. During the 40 years of operation, over 5000 crystal structures have been solved. The unique infrastructure of the Laboratory i.e. one Single Crystal diffractometer operating at low Temperature together with two diffractometers for powder diffraction applications and thin film studies is used to support its own research projects, the activities of the Institute, of the Center and also the activities of the Inorganic Chemistry departments from different Universities within Greece. The crystallographic activities cover all aspects of crystal structure analysis of single crystals such as twins, disordered structures, intermolecular Interactions e.t.c. Concerning the Powder Diffraction activity, in addition to the research activities also services are provided to Analytical Chemical laboratories, to the quality and RND departments of pharmaceutical Industries and other industries as well.
Apart from purely crystallographic research, the group has been involved in the areas of Molecular Magnetism since 1995, with its own synthetic projects starting in 2000. During nineties the laboratory had played a national role through the collaborations that have been developed with all the Inorganic Chemistry departments of Greek Universities. On the occasion of retirement of Dr. Aris Terzis, the ex-director of the laboratory, a special issue was hosted by the Polyhedron journal with the title: The Impact of Crystallography on Inorganic Chemistry in Greece (Polyhedron, Volume 25/issue 15, 2009). These national collaborations, together with the close work with the ssNMR, MOLMABIS and SUCOMO Groups of the Institute, have boosted the activity on Molecular Magnetism which have been evolved to an international one. The impact of this activity of the Institute increases steadily through the organization of the very successful International workshops North America-Greece-Cyprus Workshop on Paramagnetic Materials started in 2005 and Current Trends in Molecular and Nanoscale Magnetism started in 2006 and both organized every two years. Today the group’s research interests cover the study of polynuclear coordination clusters and coordination polymers of paramagnetic 3d transition metal and 4f lanthanide ions. Various approaches are used for these syntheses. One is to use well-studied ligands and test several variations of the reaction conditions (solvent, crystallization methods, counteranions present etc.). Another approach is the use of ligands specially designed such as Schiff Bases, to coordinate to many metal ions at the same time, thus leading to polynuclear structures. The most of the synthesized coordination compounds, mononuclear, polynuclear, or polymeric are devoted to Molecular magnetism and their magnetic and spectroscopic study is performed in close collaboration with the Molecular Magnetic & Bioinorganic Spectroscopy and Superconducting & Magnetic Oxides Groups of the Institute