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100 Years Young

100 Years Young

editorial 100 years young

This is the International Year of and is a to reflect on the success of the discipline. Looking ahead the is well placed to produce further exciting contributions to .

Our print subscribers will find a pleasant conditions. Large-scale facilities offer Short pulse duration also means that it will surprise this month. Along with their August sophisticated tools that can, for example, be possible to detect signals issue of Nanotechnology there comes access the physicochemical properties before the sample is irreversibly damaged. a booklet entitled Nature Milestones in of nanometre-thick films and even This will allow researchers to determine Crystallography. These extra 42 pages recount monolayers. And there are no signs of X-ray, the structure of single macromolecules the history of crystallography in 25 defining neutron or crystallography slowing and carry out measurements in operando moments and contains reprints of down, whether they be used for scattering, conditions, for example, following the 8 breakthrough communications and papers or imaging. In particular, of charge carriers directly in a from the Nature archives. (Online readers the fourth generation of synchrotron device, or studying single events occurring at can find theMilestones in Crystallography radiation facilities is expected to deliver an the electrode interface in -conversion at http://www.nature.com/milestones/ and energy-storage devices. Overall, the next milecrystal/index.html; the content is free generation of X-ray for 6 months and contains an online-only facilities, which extensive collection of articles published includes X-ray across Nature-branded journals starting with free-electron , an 1883 paper by William Barlow on the and the largely packing of hard .) complementary The origins of modern crystallography can neutron scattering be traced back to Max Laue who, against the techniques will backdrop of pre-First World Germany, allow researchers conceived what had no to gain a stronger hesitation labelling as one of the most connection between beautiful experiments in : the nanoscale structure and diffraction of X-rays by a crystal macroscopic function lattice. The implications were of . Moreover, immediately evident to with the ability to focus of the time and in just a few years beams in increasingly a new tool for the investigation tighter regions, it will be of matter with atomic possible to induce specific precision was developed transformations with (mainly courtesy of nanometre-scale spatial William Lawrence and resolution, which could be ). useful for triggering specific Crystallography self-assembly behaviours usually provides or building multicomponent conclusive results. devices. Furthermore, imaging The planarity of techniques that can already benzene, the existence of reach respectable resolutions are ionic crystals and of sandwich expected to achieve resolutions of compounds such as ferrocene, and less than 1 nanometre. the determination of complex biological We hope that while going structures are but a few examples in through our Milestone, readers will which crystallography was able to solve understanding marvel at how far the field has come scientific controversies once and for all. As of matter with in 100 years and be inspired to imagine a consequence, crystallography has been unprecedented resolution what crystallography can do for them. adopted across the right from and add a whole new to Nanotechnology is, after all, about the start. experiments: that of dynamics, thanks control at the smallest possible scale, and The relationship between crystallography to brilliant subfemtosecond pulses. crystallography has the potential to offer the and nanoscale objects can be traced back This capability should be exciting news enabling tools. to the discovery of powder diffraction by for nanoscience. Editorially, Milestones in Crystallography Paul Scherrer and his formula to measure With such methods, it will be possible to has been a cross-journal collaboration the size of colloidal particles. A hundred study single nanoparticles and characterize, between Nature Nanotechnology, years later, researchers in nanoscience for instance, the role of defects during Nature Materials and Nature Molecular enjoy a set of crystallographic techniques growth, or the catalytic properties of the & Structural Biology, reflecting the specifically tailored for their sample surface by ‘watching’ reactions in real time. interdisciplinary character of the field. ❐

NATURE NANOTECHNOLOGY | VOL 9 | AUGUST 2014 | www.nature.com/naturenanotechnology 565

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