The United Nations declared 2019 the International Year of the Periodic Table. Scientists around the world celebrated with a variety of events. The CCDC partnered with the British Crystallographic Association to celebrate the way we know best: with crystal structures!

Each element in the Periodic Table has a dedicated webpage, where you can find more information and fun facts about the element as well as a crystal structure to celebrate it. Crystals, indeed, contain different numbers and types of elements from the periodic table ordered in 3 dimensions. The IYPTCrystals project aims to let you see inside those crystals and to celebrate the amazing science that has been made possible through crystallography and the periodic table. Click through the elements on the table below to learn more about each one!

For answers to some common questions about this project, see our FAQ


The project undertaken was very ambitious and it was possible thanks to a team of volunteer contributors from the crystallographic community, some of whom you can meet in a dedicated page. Each of them dedicated their time to this community-led project, taking charge of one or more elements, with the common goal to build an engaging Periodic Table to educate a new generation of scientists. 


All the element pages were included in the IYPT Crystal Competition, and our panel of judges selected carbon, chromium, cobalt, europium, germanium, and tellurium, to enter the final round, thanks to their highly engaging and informative pages and their high levels of website views. The winner was selected only based on the community preferences. And the winner is... Cobalt! Congratulations!

Educational Resources and Activities

The IYPT through Crystals team is also working with expert educators to help others use this resource in education by creating additional worksheets and educational material based on these pages so it can be used in schools, science festivals or uniform groups. Once completed our resources will be available here.

First up: a set of battlecards to play with friends and family while exploring and learning more about the Periodic Table and the crystal structures in its honour. You can find this activity here.


The Cambridge Structural Database (CSD) is a database of nearly 1 million organic and metal organic crystal structures. The database entries contain many different element types and the diversity of different element types that can been found in these structures has increased over the decades.  This periodic table is colour-coded to show the amount of each element present in the structures of the CSD.