Fiber diffraction

Jump to: navigation, search


Fiber diffraction is a scattering technique in which molecular structure is determined from scattering data (usually of X-rays or electrons) from filaments composed of a regular array of molecules distinguished by a single direction (the fiber axis). The resulting diffraction patterns show layer lines, each with Bessel function intensities.

Historical role

Fiber diffraction data led to several important advances in the development of structural biology, e.g., the original models of the α-helix and the Watson-Crick model of double-stranded DNA.


  • Cochran W, Crick FHC, and Vand V (1952). "The Structure of Synthetic Polypeptides. I. The Transform of Atoms on a Helix". Acta Cryst., 5, 581-586.

External links

  • Fiber Diffraction — an introduction provided by Prof. K.C. Holmes, Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Heidelberg.