12.  Crystallography in Spain
Mode: full-screen / central-screen / help
Table of contents through the logo
To the table of contents
In the context of this chapter, you will also be invited to visit these sections...

Crystallography is one of the branches of Science whose importance has been critical to the development of Chemistry around the world. Its influence, which was spectacular in Spain during the last third of the twentieth century, led (through many efforts) to the establishment of several groups of crystallographers whose relevance is nowadays beyond any doubt. However, contrary to what happened in other developed countries, Crystallography in Spain, and especially in academic institutions, seems in general to remain an unresolved matter. This is probably due to the fact that it has erroneously been considered as a minor technical issue, whose application and interpretation is trivial.

No scientific discipline has so profoundly influenced the field of structural Biochemistry as that of X-ray diffraction analysis when applied to the crystals of macromolecules. It is among the most prolific techniques available for providing significant new data. In theory, there is no limit in molecular size, and thus it includes, in addition to proteins, the viruses, ribo- and deoxyribonucleic acids and protein complexes. Its influence has also affected the development of Biology and Biomedicine, leading to the so-called structural genomics. The detailed knowledge of the structure of biological macromolecules enables us not only to understand the relationship between structure and function, but also to make rational functional improvement proposals. In contrast with the importance of these issues, the rather large number of research groups in Spain (very competitive in Cellular and Molecular Biology), and the lack of resources dedicated to the few Spanish laboratories active in macromolecular Crystallography becomes very apparent.

In an separate part of this chapter the reader will find a brief historical outline on the initial development of Crystallography in Spain

Most crystallographers working in Spain are associated with the Specialized Group for Crystallography and Crystal Growth (
Grupo Especializado de Cristalografía y Crecimiento Cristalino, GE3C), a group associated with the Spanish Royal Society of Chemistry. Similarly, European crystallographers are associated with the European Crystallographic Association, ECA.

Further, the Spanish National Committee of Crystallography is the Spanish association responsible for coordinating the official Spanish representation to the 
International Union of Crystallography, IUCr.

There are some other Spanish associations related to Crystallography, organized according to various radiation sources of interest in the field:
XXII Congress and General Assembly, Madrid 2011Crystallographers working in Spain had the responsibility to organize the XXII Congress and General Assembly of the International Union of Crystallography, IUCr, that was held in Madrid (August 22-30, 2011).   This type of congress, held every three years in a different country, had in Madrid over 2,800 worldwide participants and implied an explicit recognition by the IUCr of the "Spanish crystallography". The event was officially supported by the IUCr, the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation, the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), several Spanish universities (especially Alcalá, Complutense of Madrid, Autonomous of Madrid, UIMP, Oviedo, Cantabria and Barcelona). Special mention has to be done to the support received by the BBVA Foundation (which specifically supported the participation of the three 2009 Chemistry Nobel Laureates). AECID and Metro-Madrid helped to the participation of a large number of young researchers from less developed countries. The "Madrid Convention Bureau" supported, in 2005, the preparation of the candidature of Spain to organize this unique event. Crystallographers working in Spain and specially those implied in the Local Organizing Commitee, appreciate the suport obtained from all these organizations.

See also the contents of this link.

The most relevant research groups located in Spain and using Crystallography as a main research tool can be found below.

Visite La Factoría de CristalizaciónNine of the groups listed below made an association in the context of a joint project called The Factory of Crystallization, a collaborative project to create an integrated platform for research and services in crystallization and crystallography. The project was thought as a setting to combine advanced research on crystallization and crystallography and service delivery in these fields to companies and research groups in biomedical, pharmacological, biotechnological, nanotechnological, natural or material sciences. The aim was that any group extracting, synthesizing or, in general, developing a new molecule or potentially interesting material could have access, with an adequate level of confidentiality, to the knowledge and technology needed for crystallization, diffraction data collection and structure solution. The project was funded with € 5.0 M by the former Spanish Ministry of Education and Science (now Ministry of Science and Innovation), as part of the Consolider-Ingenio/2010 program.

The following information corresponds to a relatively splendid stage of Crystallography in Spain (during the first decade of the 21st century). Unfortunately, with the passage of time the situation has worsened, so many of the links shown below may no longer be operational..

The list of groups shown below may contain involuntary errors or omissions. Groups who would like to be included here should get in contact through this link.

 Select a region on the map


Cement Science Group @ UMA
Bulevar Louis Pasteur 31, E-29010 Málaga
Updated: May 2022

Division for X-ray Diffraction, University of  Cádiz
Campus Universitario del Río San Pedro, E-11510 Puerto Real

General Service Unit, Institute for Materials Science of Seville (CSIC-University of Seville)
Americo Vespuccio 49, Isla de la Cartuja, E-41092 Sevilla

Group of Coordination Chemistry and Structural Analysis, University of Granada
Avda. Fuentenueva s/n, E-18071 Granada

Group of Organometallic Chemistry and Homogeneous Catalysis, Institute of Chemical Reseach (CSIC-Universidad de Sevilla)
Américo Vespucio 49, E-41092 Sevilla

Group of Protein Structure, Department of Physical-Chemistry, Biochemistry and Inorganic Chemistry,  University of  Almería
Edificio Científico Técnico de Química, Ctra. Sacramento, La Cañada de San Urbano, E-04120 Almería

Laboratory of Crystallographic Studies (LEC), CSIC-University of Granada
Edifício Inst. López Neyra, Avenida del Conocimiento s/n, PT Ciencias de la Salud, E-18100 Armilla

X-ray Diffraction Service, University of Málaga
Bulevar Louis Pasteur 33 , Campus de Teatinos,
Edificio SCAI, Planta 1, B1-04, E-29071 Málaga
Ir al mapa Go to the map


Institute of Chemical Synthesis and Homogeneous Catalysis (iSQCH), CSIC-University of Zaragoza

Pedro Cerbuna 12, E-50009 Zaragoza

Department of Physics of Condensed Matter, CSIC-University of Zaragoza
Plaza de San Francisco s/n, E-50009 Zaragoza
Ir al mapa Go to the map


Department of Physics, University of Oviedo
Julián Clavería 8, E-33006 Oviedo

Crystallography and Mineralogy, Department of Geology, University of Oviedo
Jesús Arias de Velasco, E-33005 Oviedo

Synthesis, Structure and Technological Application of Materials, Department of Physical and Analytical Chemstry, Faculty of Chemistry, University of Oviedo
Julián Clavería 8, E-33006 Oviedo

Ir al mapa Go to the map

Balearic Islands

No data available


Group of High Pressure and Spectroscopy, Faculty of Sciences, University of Cantabria
Avda. de los Castros s/n, E-39005 Santander

Group of Matter Magnetism, University of Cantabria
Avda. de los Castros s/n, E-39005 Santander

Ir al mapa Go to the map

Canary Islands

Group for X-Ray Diffraction, Department of Physics, Univ. of La Laguna
Avda. Astrofisico Fco. Sanchez s/n E-38204 La Laguna (Tenerife)
Updated: May 2022

Laboratory of Materials for Chemical Analysis (MAT4LL), Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Sciences, Univ. of La Laguna
Avda. Astrofísico Francisco Sánchez s/n, E-38200 La Laguna (Islas Canarias)
Updated: May 2022

Laboratory of X-Rays and Molecular Materials, Department of Fundamental Physics II, University of La Laguna
Avda Astrofí­sico Francisco Sánchez s/n, E-38204 La Laguna

Some other groups (no web link) from the Dept. of Fundamental Physics II, making use of the Integrated Service for X-Ray Diffraction, University of La Laguna
Avda. Astrofísico Francisco Sánchez s/n, E-38206 La Laguna

Castile and León

Department of Physics of the Condensed Matter, Crystallography and Mineralogy, University of Valladolid 
E-47002 Valladolid

Structural Biology Group, Cancer Research Center, CSIC-University of Salamanca
Campus Miguel de Unamumo, E-37007 Salamanca

X-ray Diffraction Service, University of Burgos
Plaza de Misael Bañuelos s/n, E-09001 Burgos

X-ray Diffraction Service, University of Salamanca
Plaza de la Merced s/n, E-37008 Salamanca
Ir al mapa Go to the map

Castile - La Mancha

Grupo de Química Organometálica y Catálisis, Facultad de Ciencias Químicas, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha
Avenida de Camilo José Cela 10, E-13071 Ciudad Real


Department of Crystallography, Institute of Material Sciences of Barcelona, CSIC
Campus de la Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, E-08193 Bellaterra

Department of Chemical Engineering, Polytechnic University of Catalonia
Escola d'Enginyeria Barcelona Est, Campus Diagonal Besos, Building (EEBE) I 2.21, c/ Eduard Maristany 10-14, E-08019 Barcelona

Department of Crystallography, Mineralogy and Mineral Deposits, Faculty of Geology, University of Barcelona
c/ Martí i Franqués s/n, E-08028-Barcelona

Department of Structural Biology, Institute of Molecular Biology of Barcelona, CSIC
Parque Científico de Barcelona, Baldiri i Reixach 15-21, E-08028 Barcelona

Group for Physics and Crystallography of Nanomaterials, Faculty of Chemistry, University Rovira i Virgili
Marcel.li Domingo s/n, Campus Sescelades, E-43007 Tarragona

Unit for X-ray Diffraction, Autonomous University of Barcelona
Campus de la Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, E-08193 Bellaterra

X-ray Diffraction Unit, Institute of Chemical Research of Catalonia
Avgda. Països Catalans 16, E-43007-Tarragona
Ir al mapa Go to the map


Coordination Chemistry, Department of Organic and Inorganic Chemistry, Univ. of Extremadura

Av. de Elvas s/n, E-06006. Badajoz
Updated: May 2022
Ir al mapa Go to the map


Metallosupramolecular Chemistry Group (QI5)
Universidad de Vigo, Facultad de Química, E-36310 Vigo

Research Group on Molecular and Structural Chemistry (GIQIMO), University of Santiago de Compostela 
Campus Universitario Sur, E-15782 Santiago de Compostela

Structural Analysis Unit, Service for Research Support, University of A Coruña
E-15001 A Coruña

Support Center for Science and Technology, University of Vigo
Facultad de Química, E-36310 Vigo

X-ray Unit, University of Santiago de Compostela
Edificio CACTUS, Campus Universitario Sur s/n, E-15782 Santiago de Compostela

La Rioja

Central X-ray Diffraction Unit (no web site). Somehow dependent from the Department of Chemistry, University of La Rioja
Avda. de La Paz 93, E-26006 Logroño

Ir al mapa Go to the map

Ir al mapa Go to the map
Crystal Growth Laboratory, Department of Material Physics, Faculty of Sciences, Autonomous University of Madrid
Campus de Cantoblanco, E-28049 Madrid

Crystallography Group of the UAH, Department of Inorganic Chemistry, University of Alcalá de Henares (UAH)
Campus Universitario, E-28871 Alcalá de Henares

Department of Analytical Sciences, Faculty of Sciences, Universidad Nacional a Distancia (UNED)
Senda del Rey 9, E-28080 Madrid

Department of Crystallography and Mineralogy, Faculty of Geological Sciences, University Complutense of Madrid
José Antonio Novais 2, E-28040 Madrid

Department of Crystallography and Structural Biology, Institute of Physical-Chemistry "Blas Cabrera", CSIC
Serrano 119, E-28006 Madrid

Some group (with no web link) at the Department of Inorganic Chemistry I, University Complutense of Madrid
Ciudad Universitaria, E-28040 Madrid

Department of Macromolecular Structures, National Center for Biotechnology, CSIC
Darwin 3, Campus de Cantoblanco, E-28049 Madrid

Structural biology of viral fibres
  Cell-Cell and Virus-Cell Interactions
Updated: May 2022

Group of Structural Biology of Proteins, Centre for Biological Research, CSIC
Ramiro de Maeztu 9, E-28040 Madrid

Institute of Material Sciences of Madrid, CSIC
Cantoblanco, Ctra. de Colmenar Km. 15, E-28049 Madrid
Department of Energy, Environment and Sustainable Technologies
Department of New Architectures in Materials Chemistry

National Center for Cancer Research, CNIO
Melchor Fernández Almagro 3, E-28029 Madrid
Cell Signalling and Adhesion Group
Protein Crystallography Unit  Updated: May 2022
  Structural Bases of Genome Integrity Group
Single Crystal Unit, Faculty of Chemistry, University Complutense of Madrid
Edificio C (Aulario), Planta Sótano, Ciudad Universitaria, E-28040 Madrid

Ir al mapa Go to the map


Department of Mining, Geological and Cartographic Engineering, Area of Chemistry, Technical University of Cartagena
Campus Muralla del Mar, E-30202 Cartagena

Ir al mapa Go to the map


Group of Physical Properties and Applications of Materials, Public University of Navarre
Edificio Departamental de los Acebos, Campus Arrosadía, E-31006 Pamplona
Ir al mapa Go to the map

The autonomous city of Ceuta

No data available

The autonomous city of Melilla

No data available

The Basque Country

Biophysics Unit,  CSIC-University of the Basque Country
Campus de Leioa, E-48940 Leioa

Department of Mineralogy and Petrology, Faculty of Science and Technilogy, University of the Basque Country
Campus de Leioa, E-48940 Leioa

Department of Inorganic Chemistry, Faculty of Science and Technology, University of the Basque Country
Campus de Leioa, E-48940 Leioa

Group of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials, Faculty of Science and Tecnology, University of the Basque Country
Campus de Leioa, E-48940 Leioa
Galicia Asturias Basque Country Cantabria La Rioja Navarre Castile and León Aragon Catalonia Extremadura Madrid Castile-La Mancha Valencia Andalusia Balearic Islands Murcia Canary Islands Ceuta and Melilla
Group of Structural and Dynamical Properties of Solids, Faculty of Science and Technology, Unversity of the Basque Country
Campus de Leioa, E-48940 Leioa

Structural Biology Unit, CIC bioGUNE
Ed. 801 A, Parque Tecnológico de Vizcaya, E-48160 Derio

X-ray Diffraction Service of the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), Faculty of Science and Technology
Bº Sarriena, s/n E-48940 Leioa (Bizkaia)
Updated: May 2022
Ir al mapa Go to the map

Valencia Community

Department of Geology, University of Valencia
Doctor Moliner 50, E-46100 Burjassot

Some group (with no web link) at the Department of Inorganic Chemistry, University of Valencia
Doctor Moliner 50, E-46100 Burjassot

Some group (with no web link) at the Department of Organic Chemistry, University of Valencia
Doctor Moliner 50, E-46100 Burjassot

Some group (with no web link) at the Department of Inorganic and Organic Chemistry, University Jaume I
Campus del Riu Sec, E-12071 Castellón de la Plana

Institute for Biomedicine of Valencia, CSIC
Jaime Roig 11, E-46010 Valencia
   Unit for Structural Enzymopathology
   Unit for Macromolecular Crystallography
   Unit for Signal Transduction

Institute of Chemical Technology (ITQ, UPV-CSIC)
Av. de los Naranjos s/n, 46022-Valencia
Updated: may 2022

Molecular Materials Research Group, Department of Chemistry, Physics and Analytics,  University Jaume I
Campus del Riu Sec, E-12071 Castellón de la Plana

Protein Research in Biotechnology, University Institute of Biotechnology and Biomedicine (Biotecmed)

Dr. Moliner 50, Facultad de Biológicas, Edificio A, E-46100 Burjassot
Updated: May 2022
Ir al mapa Go to the map

Table of contents