Members of the Laboratory and the Chair of Crystallography at the Faculty of Mining and Geology, University of Belgrade, are primarily engaged in the study of minerals and new, natural and synthetic materials, applying modern crystallographic methods. At the same time, it is now the only place in Serbia where crystallography is taught at a three-year undergraduate level and two-year master academic studies within the 13 crystallographic courses. Doctoral studies in crystallography last three years, including 7 crystallographic courses, and after completed studies Ph.D. candidates are awarded a doctorate in the field of academic expertise “crystallography”.
- Automated Four-circle Single Crystal Diffractometer SYNTEX P1.
- Automated X-ray powder diffractometer Philips PW1710.
- Automated X-ray powder diffractometer Rigaku Smartlab.
- High temperature chamber furnace Carbolite CWF 1300.
During the 19th and the first half of the 20th century, crystallography in Serbia was developed within the field of mineralogy. The geometrical and optical properties of crystals were mainly studied. A major contribution to the development of crystallography and mineralogy at those times was given by professors of Belgrade College and later Belgrade University, Jovan Žujović (1856-1936), Sima Lozanić (1847-1935) and Sava Urošević (1863-1930). Sava Urošević published university textbooks “Geometrical Crystallography” (1903) and “Physical Crystallography” (1910), which illustrate a long tradition of teaching crystallography in Serbia. Considerable progress has been made by Svetolik Stefanović (1869-1953), the first scientist who used crystallographic methods in the study of minerals. His findings on the orpiments (As2S3) monoclinic symmetry were published in 1904.
An intensification and extension of the crystallographic educational and research work took place in 1946 when Stojan Pavlović (1903-1981) became a chief and soon after in 1951 when Ilija Krstanović (1927-2011) became the assistant professor of crystallography at the Institute of Mineralogy and Petrography, where crystallographic research in Serbia originally began. The first course in crystallography was introduced at the University of Belgrade in 1952 at the Chair of Mineralogy and Petrography, which was founded in the same year as a part of the Institute of Mineralogy and Petrography. Over the next few years the first X-ray apparatus for crystallographic studies was constructed, and soon after the first crystal structure of the mineral zircon, ZrSiO4, was determined and published by Ilija Krstanović, (Krstanović, I. R, Redetermination of oxygen parameters in zircon (ZrSiO4), 1958, Acta Crystallographica, 11, 896-897). A while later two junior associates begin to work at the Chair of Mineralogy and Petrography: in 1956 Gordana Radukić was appointed as teaching assistant for mineralogy and crystallography and she specialized in the field of optical crystallography methods and of the mica group minerals; in 1959 Stevan Đurić was appointed as research associate for X-ray crystallography.
Faculty of Mining and Geology was founded in 1962, and within it the Chair of Mineralogy and Crystallography, headed by Stojan Pavlović. In 1961 Ilija Krstanović earned his Ph.D. by defending the thesis entitled “X-ray examination of the structure of zircon and monazite group of minerals”. This doctorate was the first one in crystallography at the University of Belgrade.
A while after the foundation of the Chair of Mineralogy and Crystallography, in 1963, new courses were introduced, and Laboratory of Crystallography procured new instruments: automatic X-ray diffractometer for single crystals SYNTEX P1 and X-ray diffractometer for polycrystalline samples PHILIPS PW 1710. At the beginning of 70’s with new equipment and computers of much greater processing and storage capacity, as well as the staff educated in the previous period, the importance and the scope of both, fundamental as well as applied crystallographic research, is rapidly growing. In the framework of fundamental and applied research, which is conducted at the Chair of Mineralogy and Crystallography significant results were achieved. The successful international collaboration between crystallographers resulted in achieving investigations at the European level as evidenced by several scientific papers in this field published in reputable scientific journals. The Chair stuff also educates researchers who found their place at other universities and in industry after defending their master and doctoral theses.
In 1973 Radovan Dimitrijević (1947-2010) was appointed as teaching assistant for the course “Crystallography”, and in 1974 Ljiljana Karanović joined the Chair as researcher, while in 1988 Aleksandra Rosić was appointed as assistant trainee. After reorganization of the Faculty of Mining and Geology in 1991, the Institute of Mineralogy, Crystallography, Petrology and Geochemistry was established, and within it the four chairs, one of which was the Chair of Crystallography. The X-ray, optical and geometrical crystallography are further developed since the foundation of an independent Chair of Crystallography. In the early 90’s Aleksandar Kremenović and Irena Petrović-Prelević are joining the Chair.
The group at the Faculty of Mining and Geology is now led by Ljiljana Karanović, Head of Chair of Crystallography and SCS Secretary in the period since its founding in 1992 until 2003. Current members of the Chair of Crystallography are Aleksandar Kremenović, president of SCS in the period from 2006 to 2010 and Aleksandra Rosić, SCS Secretary from 2003 to 2013. Research Associate, Predrag Vulić, who received his doctorate in 2010 in Innsbruck, is lecturer at doctoral studies, while research assistant Sabina Kovač and research assistant Predrag Dabić (both Ph.D. students) are engaged in projects of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development of the Republic of Serbia.