Solid State Chemistry


The mission of the Solid State Chemistry department (part of Institute of Molecules and Materials) is to obtain a fundamental understanding of the processes that occur during formation and growth of crystals, and to apply this understanding to the prediction and control of crystal morphology and perfection.


European Synchotron Radiation Facility (ESRF)

Elias Vlieg elected Chair of the Council of the ESRF, the world's brightest X-ray source

Elias Vlieg, professor in Solid State Chemistry, has been elected as Chair of the ESRF Council. The European Synchrotron Radiation Facility is the world’s most intense source of synchrotron-generated light.

Prof. Elias Vlieg

Elias Vlieg appointed President of the International Organization for Crystal Growth (IOCG)

Elias Vlieg, professor in Solid State Chemistry has been appointed president of the International Organization for Crystal Growth (IOCG), an international consortium that represents scientists active in the area of crystal growth.


Our research can be grouped into six topics:


We combine geometrical theory with statistical thermodynamics models for crystal growth to understand and develop methods to predict the morphology of a wide range of crystals. 

Solid-liquid Interfaces

Understanding the growth of a crystal requires close examination of its surface. We examine solid-liquid interfaces on an atomic scale by surface X-ray diffraction, to determine the surface structure and the ordering properties of the liquid adjacent to the crystal surface.

Crystal prediction

The properties of a single-component crystal are often not ideal for applications and in the formation of a multi-component crystal is a route to improve these properties. We use network science to predict which combinations of molecules are most likely to form co-crystals or solvates, and subsequently use a range of crystallization techniques to try to form these new crystals.



Chiral separation

We study methods to generate chirally pure compounds, such as a new resolution method which leads to conversion of all solid material to a single chirality. This is highly promising for application in industry, and for explaining the single handedness of molecules in living nature.

Heat batteries

Crystals that have solvate and ansolvate forms (salt hydrates are the most used examples) can store a significant amount of energy and can thus be used for sustainable heating applications. We study the properties of such materials in order to find systems with optimum performance.

Crystallisation pressure

A growing crystal can exert a force on its environment and this is the cause for certain types of building damage, where e.g. plaster layers become detached from walls. In collaboration with the Technical Universities of Delft and Eindhoven, we study the mechanism of the pressure formation and the use of additives to prevent such building damage.

Labs & facilities

The Solid State Chemistry department houses a variety of (wet and dry) microscopy labs, nano labs, and diffraction labs.

Solid State Chemistry Labs

X-Ray Diffraction Lab

We also have a close cooperation with the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF), located in Grenoble, where high energy X-ray diffraction experiments can be performed. 



Would you like to do your internship at Solid State Chemistry? Please get in touch for more information. A few examples of relevant subjects are:

  • Co-Crystal Prediction Using Network Science and Machine Learning
  • Solid State Deracemisation. Viedma Ripening Versus Temperature Cycling
  • The Structure of Mineral-Electrolyte Interfaces

The research group offers various Bachelor's and Master's courses. The group is closely involved in the Bachelor's ChemistryMolecular Life Sciences, Physics and Astronomy and Science and the Master's specialisations of Molecular Sciences and Physics and Astronomy.

Internship vacancies

Scientific staff

Below are the professors, associate professors and assistant professors of Solid State Chemistry. Chair of the department is Prof. Elias Vlieg.

Contact information


Huygens building

Heyendaalseweg 135
6525AJ Nijmegen
+31 24 365 21 21
Postal address
Postbus 9010