Woźniak’s Group

Research profile

X-Ray and neutron diffraction on the solid state substances including variable temperature and high pressure studies, crystallography beyond Independent Atom Model, quantum crystallography, routine structural analysis, applications of crystallographic methods, thermodynamic profiling of molecular recognition, in particular, the solvent effects in the formation of guest-host complexes,  crystallization and control of molecular crystal morphology, prediction of relative stability of interesting polymorphic structures, new methods of extracting thermodynamic properties from X-ray diffraction data and theoretical computations, treatment of thermal motion in X-ray diffraction data refinements, studies of solid substances exhibiting a significant level of crystalline disorder of different kinds (i.e. stacking faults, local structure of atom displacements or chemical short range order/disorder),  structural studies on inhibition mechanisms of enzymes, macromolecular crystallography.

Current research activities

Presently, we conduct structural research and studies of electron density for crystals of organic and inorganic compounds. In particular, we examine crystals of compounds of pharmaceutical importance, biochemical or biochemical significance, crystals of supramolecular compounds (rotaxanes, catenanes), macrocyclic complexes of d and f electron metal ions, crystals of model compounds used for X-ray methodological research, minerals and inorganic compounds, etc).

The aim of most of our studies is to find a correlation between the internal structure of crystals and the properties of quantitative distribution of electron density in crystals on one side, and  macroscopic properties of crystals (physical, chemical, pharmaceutical, biochemical, etc) including photophysical properties of organic and organometallic materials in the solid state. We are involved in development of  new approaches in X-ray and neutron diffraction on crystals, and introduction and testing of new methodologies aiming at estimation of accuracy and precision of X-ray and neutron diffraction methods. We study the processes of crystallization of organic, inorganic and macromolecular compounds. We also investigate dynamic properties of solids, phase transitions in the solid state, and perform crystallographic and biochemical studies of macromolecules. Finally, we also study structures and photophysical properties of materials at high pressure: determine  relationships between the crystal structure at high pressure and the resulting changes of photophysical properties and the mechanism of the excimer formation in the investigated compounds. In order to understand properties of functional materials we study novel materials exhibiting a significant level of crystalline disorder of different kinds (i.e. stacking faults, local structure of atom displacements or chemical short range order/disorder). Last but not least, an important part of our studies are structural studies on inhibition mechanisms of enzymes belonging to USP family, which remove ubiquitin from eukaryotic proteins.