Université de Montréal acquires the world's first next generation x-ray diffractometer

Between now and the end of February, the Laboratory for  X-Ray Diffraction of the Department of Chemistry at Université de Montréal will be installing a unique instrument used to analyze the molecular structure of materials: a single crystal X-ray diffractometer equipped with a metal-jet source. It was obtained as part of an infrastructure project of $5.6 million funded by the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), the Quebec government, and other partners.


The project is led by Université de Montréal chemistry professor Michel Lafleur, supported by several of his colleagues. The X-ray diffractometer to be installed in the Laboratory will be the first commercial system to be equipped with a next-generation x-ray source that is around 20 times brighter than current technology. “Not only is the Laboratory essential for the success of our own innovative materials research program, but it will also benefit all researchers in Quebec through our open facility that will provide access to this unique instrument,” says Professor Lafleur.

The acquisition marks the beginning the implementation of the infrastructure project that will enhance the university's research capacity in advanced materials. The university and the supplier of the instrument, Bruker AXS, have an ongoing partnership that ensures the Laboratory benefits from the most advance equipment. The annual conference of the International Union of Crystallography, which will be held in Montreal in August 2014, will be the occasion to unveil this new device by Bruker to researchers from around the world.

“X-ray diffraction is an indispensable technique for characterizing the molecular structure of new materials synthesized by researcher for various applications ranging from solar energy conversion to biosensors,” says Frank Schaper, Professor at the university's Department of Chemistry and Scientific Director of the Laboratory. “The extreme brightness of the new metal-jet source coupled with the optimized diffractometer optics will allow the analysis of materials which currently present almost insurmountable challenges for instruments equipped with traditional sources. Researchers from Université de Montréal, Quebec, and elsewhere will be able to determine the structure of molecules more rapidly, with greater certainty, and with smaller samples.”

“We are grateful to the CFI, the Government of Quebec, and Université de Montréal's Vice-Rectorate of Research for their financial support and excited to partner with Bruker AXS. The installation is a world first for this type of diffractometer. It will allow our laboratory to remain at the forefront of materials research,” says Lafleur.

Dr. Roger Durst, Executive Vice-President and Chief Technology Officer at Bruker AXS is pleased with the partnership agreement: “We are proud to continue our longstanding partnership with Université de Montréal and contribute to the development of this center of excellence in crystallography, whose reputation is second to none. We are confident that the laboratory will push the limits and make the most of this innovative technology developed with our partners, and thereby allow our equipment to support cutting-edge research.”

With regard to creation and innovation, Geneviève Tanguay, Vice-Rector of Research, is delighted that "once again, Université de Montréal is at the forefront in terms of research capacity and to the benefit the entire Quebec research community.”


Note: This document is a translation of a text originally prepared in French.

For more information:

Julie Gazaille Press Attaché
Université de Montréal

Yves Melanson Coordinator, Media Relations
Canada Foundation for Innovation

Pascal Ouellet Head of Media Relations
Ministère de l'Enseignement supérieur, de la Recherche, de la Science et de la Technologie
418-646-4508, ext 3397

Michael Tuf SC-XRD Product Manager
Bruker AXS Inc.

Sylvie Dufort
Director of Administration
514-284-0211, ext 228