Although often an object of controversy, electron crystallography has emerged as a useful technique for characterization of the microcrystalline state, capable of elucidating crystal structures of unknown substances. Despite the complicated multiple scattering perturbations to diffracted intensities, experimental conditions can be adjusted to favor data collection where the experimental Patterson function still resembles the autocorrelation function of the actual crystal structure. Satisfying this condition is often sufficient to permit structure solution from such data by direct methods. While the application to organic structures may seem obvious, there are surprising successes with data sets from inorganic materials. The account given in this paper, in part, portrays work leading to the A. L. Patterson Award to the author from the American Crystallographic Association.
Zeitschrift für Kristallographie – Crystalline Materials offers a place for researchers to present results of their crystallographic studies. The journal includes theoretical as well as experimental research. It publishes Original Papers, Letters and Review Articles in manifold areas of crystallography.