Gruza, B.; Chodkiewicz, M. L.; Krzeszczakowska, J.; Dominiak, P. M. Refinement of organic crystal structures with multipolar electron scattering factors. Acta Crystallographica Section A: Foundations and Advances, International Union of Crystallography, 2020, 76
A revolution in resolution is occurring now in electron microscopy arising from the development of methods for imaging single particles at cryogenic temperatures and obtaining electron diffraction data from nanocrystals of small organic molecules or macromolecules. Near-atomic or even atomic resolution of molecular structures can be achieved. The basis of these methods is the scattering of an electron beam due to the electrostatic potential of the sample. To analyse these high-quality experimental data, it is necessary to use appropriate atomic scattering factors. The independent atom model (IAM) is commonly used although various more advanced models, already known from X-ray diffraction, can also be applied to enhance the analysis. In this study a comparison is presented of IAM and TAAM (transferable aspherical atom model), the latter with the parameters of the Hansen–Coppens multipole model transferred from the University at Buffalo Databank (UBDB). By this method, TAAM takes into account the fact that atoms in molecules are partially charged and are not spherical. Structure refinements were performed on a carbamazepine crystal using electron structure-factor amplitudes determined experimentally [Jones et al. (2018). ACS Cent. Sci. 4, 1587–1592] or modelled with theoretical quantum-mechanical methods. The results show the possibilities and limitations of the TAAM method when applied to electron diffraction. Among others, the method clearly improves model fitting statistics, when compared with IAM, and allows for reliable refinement of atomic thermal parameters. The improvements are more pronounced with poorer-resolution diffraction data.