Maxwell Chung’s favorite structure is:

Diamond

Why?

Because the diamond is expensive. It's all about the money. That's what life teaches you. But it also teaches you the simplistic beauty which is apparent in all the amazing creatures and things in the world that surround us. Chemistry has taught me to become a better person and a better man. I am grateful for Chemistry and the ACS and specifically C&EN for allowing me to tell others about my feelings.—Maxwell Chung

James Bellows’s favorite structure is:

1-bromo-4-chloronaphthalene

Source: Acta Crystallographica Section B: Structural Crystallography and Crystal Chemistry 34(11) 3256 (1978)

Why?

Because it was determined by Raman spectroscopy.  We had 1,4-dichloro- and 1,4-dibromonaphthalene structures.  It has the 1,4-dichloronaphthalene structure with broadening, indicating that the bromines and chlorines are randomly arranged.—James Bellows

sudhir mittapalli’s favorite structure is:

NaCl crystal structure

NaCl

Source: Wikipedia

Why?

The first atomic-resolution structure to be "solved" (i.e., determined) in 1914 was that of table salt. After Von Laue's pioneering research, the crystallography field developed rapidly, most notably by physicists William Lawrence Bragg and his father William Henry Bragg. In 1912–1913, the younger Bragg developed Bragg's law, which connects the observed scattering with reflections from evenly spaced planes within the crystal.The Braggs, father and son, shared the 1915 Nobel Prize in Physics for their work in crystallography.—sudhir mittapalli

Kerry Fowler’s favorite structure is:

RIG-I

rigi

Source: PDB:3TMI Image generated with PyMol

Why?

Until my current job I had worked primarily in cancer drug discovery and knew virtually nothing about the innate immune system.  This amazing first-line defense to infection includes the RNA detector RIG-I which grabs onto the invader's double helix. —Kerry Fowler

Robert Dyer’s favorite structure is:

Tartaric Acid

Tartaric Acid

Source: Dalton Trans., 2014, 43, 95-102

Why?

Enatiopurity in both research and industry is extremely important due to the potential adverse effects of enantiomers. Promising drugs like Thalomid have been completely reevaluated based on the adverse effects of the drug’s enantiomer illustrating the importance of ensuring enatiopurity in the synthesis of compounds. Using crystallization, Louis Pasteur was the first scientist to separate the enantiomers of tartaric acid by physically sorting the different crystals into D and L tartaric acid. Louis Pasteur's work helped to identify that the different crystals originated from the molecular asymmetry of the molecule, helping to discover the basis of chemical chirality.—Robert Dyer

Fabienne Schwab’s favorite structure is:

Gold face-centered cubic

Gold face-centered cubic

Source: 1. Goswami, A. M.; Ghosh, S., Biological Synthesis of Colloidal Gold Nanoprisms Using Penicillium citrinum MTCC9999. Journal of Biomaterials and Nanobiotechnology 2013, 4, (2A), 20-27.

Why?

Nano-gold is an important model particle to study the – yet very poorly understood – uptake mechanisms of nanoparticles in plants. The unique, distinct and beautiful electron diffraction pattern of gold facilitates identification of the nanoparticles without doubt by means of a conventional electron microscope in the selected area electron diffraction mode. —Fabienne Schwab

Cora Lind-Kovacs’s favorite structure is:

ZrW2O8

ZrW2O8

Source: CrystalMaker

Why?

The determination of the crystal structure of ZrW2O8 in the 1990's revealed the origins of a fairly widespread mechanism of negative thermal expansion. The structure is composed of relatively rigid, corner-sharing
polyhedra, and transverse vibrations of the approximately linearly coordinated oxygen atoms result in the overall contraction of the structure.—Cora Lind-Kovacs

Don Bruce Sullenger’s favorite structure is:

beta-rhombohedral boron

beta-rhombohedral boron

Source: Source of photo: Monsanto Research Corp., Mound Laboratory, Miamisburg, OH. (A now closed and environmentally restored DOE laboratory).

Why?

Why this is my favorite X-ray crystal structure: The beautiful, strikingly unique structure of B-rhombohedral boron has successfully withstood numerous challenges of its correctness and has for a half century experienced nearly constant investigations of its structurally implied material characteristics. Arguably the most important of the several known phases of elemental boron, this form has been found to be experimentally stable from absolute zero to its melting point. Detailed consideration of the 5-foldness of its numerous discrete and merged 12-atom regular icosahedral motifs and their extended 84-atom truncated icosahedral arrays has forced a significant modification of chemical bonding theory in attempts to explain the low density, high strength, high melting, semiconducting and other notable properties of this low atomic number element. Even the observed partial occupancy of one of its 6-fold Wyckoff sets of atoms within the structure appears to be correct and to imply intriguing electronic possibilities. As one affected colleague has remarked: "You never fully recover from a bite of the boron bug." This structure illustrates some of the allure.—Don Bruce Sullenger

Venkat Reddy Chirasani’s favorite structure is:

Crystal structure of the hyperactive Type I antifreeze from winter flounder

AFP

Why?

Generally a polypeptide chain folds into a protein by hiding hydrophobic residues in its core by expelling water from its core. But this recently crystallized anti-freeze protein has retained ~400 water molecules in its core.  This dimeric, four-helix bundle protein has putative ice-binding residues. These residues point inwards and coordinate the interior waters into two intersecting polypentagonal networks. The inter helical contacts are minimal but the bundle is stabilized by anchoring the protein's backbone carbonyl groups to semi-clathrate water monolayers. The ordered waters likely involve in ice binding by extending outwards to the protein surface. Thus, this protein fold supports both the mechanisms of expelling water from the core of the protein for proper protein folding and the adsorption of antifreeze protein through anchored-clathrate water.—Venkat Reddy Chirasani

Maya’s favorite structure is:

collagen

320px-1K6F_Crystal_Structure_Of_The_Collagen_Triple_Helix_Model_Pro-_Pro-Gly103_04

Source: Nottingham blog

Why?

Its the most abundant structural protein in animals and have wide application in biomedicine. It also holds glyscosaminoglycans in the core. GAG is again another essential element for structural consistency having pharmaceutical
application.—Maya

Michael T Deans’s favorite structure is:

tetragonal water ice

Why?

Proton ordered tetragonal ice is a variant of cubic ice, sharing the strength of diamond and crystallizing in liquid nitrogen. It undergoes a first order ferroelectric transition, lazing at ~4 micron with quanta of the same energy as nucleotide phosphodiester bonds. Forming on the Earth's poles during an extreme primordial ice age and subject to fluctuating temperatures, this coherent infrared light was polarized by multiple reflection by surface ice and ice in clouds. Shining on equatorial pools of water, selectively photophosphorylated deoxyribonucleotides polymerised to form chiral DNA.

Ice It explains the origin of life, see full  account of 47 years' research at www.scienceuncoiled.co.uk. Its most significant consequences are: [1] Predicting the value of supplementing trace elements Se, Ag, Zn, F, Cu, I, Mn and In for disease prevention. [2] Explaining the biological energy coupling involved in muscle contraction, photosynthesis and oxidative phosphorylation. [3] Suggesting a chromosome structure functioning as the chip in the brain, biological clock and cold fusion reactor.

When confirmed, emulating ice It's properties promises better health, more human-friendly computers and clean ways to generate energy. The associated relativity between conception and perception offers simple accounts of particle physics, nuclear structure and cosmology. —Michael T Deans