Active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and other compounds must pass rigorous screening like salt formation, co-crystallization or polymorphism during research and production quality control. These steps can conveniently be achieved using powder X-ray diffraction thanks to the inherent sensitivity and ability to differentiate between different crystallographic structures.
It is also possible to perform dynamic studies, follow the crystallization behavior of compounds in different solvents or non-ambient conditions. It is now even possible to routinely solve the crystal structure of new compounds from powder data. In addition, X-ray diffraction affords the ability to trace impurities during synthesis, thus improving processes.