The goal of this project is to provide interactive 3D visualizations of crystal structures and morphologies in order to help educate future materials scientists and engineers worldwide. We also host freely downloadable 3D print files of crystallographic models.

This website is maintained by Portland State’s Nano-Crystallography Group and utilized for classroom demonstrations in courses such as introductory materials science and engineering, introductory nanoscience and nanotechnology, and modern physics. All of our crystallographic data are open access, freely available to anybody.


  • November 2020: Site Migrated to WordPress CMS to support PHP server. Reverted to standard search interface of COD and removing support of other databases due to limited resources and COVID-19 disruptions.
  • November 2019: Site analytics widget added.
  • August 2017: 3D Converter Web-Application Released. It is based on the latest version of JSmol.
  • June 2016: Page on 3D printing of crystallographic models created and a selection of such files uploaded.
  • December 2015: Jmol visualizations largely replaced by (somewhat slower but more secure) JSmol visualizations.
  • January 2014: First two crystallographic 3D print files (of a common sugar (sucrose) molecule and crystal model) uploaded.
  • November 2013: Search and upload functions now parse chemical_formula_moiety fields. 
  • February 2013: 500 small molecule organic CIFs from the free Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre Teaching Database were added to the local educational “offshoot” of the COD. (Acknowledgements of this source are in each individual CIF.) Manual cleaning of data sets. 
  • November 2012: New site interface using Django CMS, an open source Python based content management framework. The old site has been depreciated, but will be available for backward compatibility in the future.
  • June 2012: Development of new Jmol display menu interface.
  • May 2012: Updated PyCifRW to version 3.3 and CIF dictionary to IUCr version 2.1.6. (CIF validation tools).
  • June 2008: Wikipedia entry ‘crystallographic database’ written (and maintained ever since).
  • July-August 2007: New version of Java based Jmol supports stereo viewing, Wiki Crystallography Database and Crystal Morphology Database created.
  • July-August 2006: General cleaning up of data, Nano-Crystallography Database created.
  • July 2005-December 2006: Some 500 CIFs of simple crystal structures with educational relevance created and uploaded.
  • July 2004: Project started, entries from subset of COD can be displayed in 3D interactively using Java based Jmol.