2022 X-TechLab training session

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A unique regional training initiative

Advance your knowledge of X-ray crystallography by attending the 2022 X-TechLab training session that will be held in Cotonou from November 21st to December 2nd.


The X-TechLab training session aims to endow the local and regional scientific communities with technical skills that will allow them to use X-ray techniques as tools for solving various problems in their specific fields. The particularity of this training lies in the association in equal parts between theory and practice with the opportunity for attendees to work on their own samples.


At the end of the training, you will receive a Certificate of attendance that will allow you to demonstrate skills to:

  • explain the importance of X-ray crystallography in modern science;

  • describe the phenomenon of X-ray diffraction by crystals;

  • recognize a good quality crystal;

  • identify the suitable crystallization technique for a given study;

  • describe the operation of a single crystal diffractometer;

  • implement a routine data collection using a single crystal diffractometer;

  • solve and refine small-molecule single-crystal structure.


  • Module I: Fundamentals of X-ray crystallography

History of Crystallography, X-ray diffraction compared with other structural techniques, crystalline state, crystal lattice, Miller indices, crystal symmetry (point group symmetry, translational symmetry, space groups determination, …).

  • Module II: Crystal diffraction theory and experiment

Introduction to X-rays & X ray sources, Diffraction of X-rays by crystals, Instrumentation, Crystal growth, selection & mounting, Fourier maps, Introduction to structure solution methods, crystal diffraction data processing, twinning, Polymorphism.

  • Module III: Hands-on experience with the use of equipment

Crystal selection & mounting, Recording the diffraction patterns, Determining the unit cell geometry and symmetry, measurement of intensities, data reduction.

  • Module IV: Crystal structure solution & refinement

Crystal structure solution, refinement, absolute structure determination, interpretation of results & validation, tutorials on Cambridge Structural Database.

  • Module V: Crystallography in specific Areas

Introduction to bio-crystallography, crystallography in the development of magnetic thin films materials for computing applications, Introduction to high pressure single crystal X-ray diffraction, Sublimation of multi-component crystals.

NB: The x-ray crystallography courses require some mathematical background. Therefore, it is highly recommended that learners revise some mathematical notions (vector products, matrix operations, tensors, Fourier Transform) prior to the training session.


To apply to this course, you must:

  1. Hold a Master degree (or being at Master 1 or 2 level) in fundamentals or applied sciences (chemistry, material sciences, pharmacology, geology, physics, etc.);

  2. Be enrolled in an academic institution (university, research center, …);

  3. Have some knowledge in mathematics (vector products, matrices and matrix operation, tensors, Fourier transform);

  4. Have single-crystal samples to characterize during the training session.


The training includes 70 hours of intensive courses over two (02) weeks. The particularity lies in the association in equal parts between theory and practice with the opportunity for attendees to work on their own samples. All learners and lecturers will be present in person at Sèmè City in Cotonou, except for a few lecturers who will attend remotely. At the end of the training, the learners will undergo a two-hour knowledge test intended to assess the knowledge gained from the training for each participant.


Applications are submitted using an online form.

The following documents must be scanned and attached to the form:

  • Curriculum Vitae;

  • Copy of your last degree ( at least master’s degree or a proof of study level in Master 1 or 2 student card for ex);

  • Copy of ID card or Passpor;

  • A recommendation letter from the supervisor (applicable for PhD students only);

  • A motivation letter (1 page max.) presenting reasons for applying to the X-TechLab training session.


The overall cost of the training session is 3 200 euros per learner.

However, Sèmè City and the French AMBASSY in Benin have fully subsidized the 2022 training session for the twenty (20) best candidates, including travel and accommodation cost. Only registration fees of 80€‎ for Beninese applicants and 160€‎ for other nationalities will be charged.

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