Structural Chemistry is a part of chemistry that deals with spatial structures of molecules (in the solid, liquid or gaseous state) and solids (with extended structures that cannot be subdivided into molecules).
The important tasks are the formulation of general rules for structure-property relationships and the derivation of general laws on how the physical and chemical properties of the constituents of matter determine the resulting structures (example: the relationship between the electron configuration of the crystal building blocks and the symmetry of the resulting crystal lattice).
For structure elucidation a range of different methods are used. One has to differentiate between methods that elucidate solely the connectivity between atoms (constitution) and such that provide precise three dimensional information such as atom coordinates, bond lengths and angles and torsional angles. The latter methods include (mainly):
To identify connectivity and the presence of functional groups a variety of methods of molecular spectroscopy and solid state spectroscopy can be used.