Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Honors Thesis



First Advisor

Anne Wilson

Second Advisor

Mark Macbeth


The effect of microgravity on crystallization experiments has been a topic of interest over the past fifty years. The first microgravity crystallization experiments have been dated back to the early 1970s, and since then hundreds of crystals have been grown in microgravity. Crystallization experiments have been conducted on multiple flights and a variety of spacecraft, using an assortment of techniques, and funded by several different countries. Scientists have been and continue to examine how macromolecular crystals grow in microgravity and how the structures determined from crystals grown in microgravity compare to the structures determined from Earth grown crystals. Parameters such as size, uniformity, mosaicity and resolution limit can give the scientists insight into whether or not there are marked improvements in crystals. The ability to grow high quality crystals can lead to many developments in the electronics, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, and metal industries along with a variety of areas of research. This study is an analysis of publicly available data on organic macromolecular crystals grown by diffusion techniques over a thirty-one year period of time (1988-2019). The hypothesis is that experimental techniques and experience in microgravity crystallization have provided improved crystal growth throughout the analysis time period."