Our 750+ structure teaching subset includes a wide variety of molecules (from adrenaline to zirconium complexes) and can be used to enhance learning across the chemistry curriculum. A range of associated teaching units demonstrate how the interactive on-line teaching database can be used to teach core chemistry concepts.


What is in the Teaching Subset

Entries in the teaching subset have been classified by the various concepts they are used to demonstrate.  Click on the header for each classification to view the structures included.

Fundamental Chemistry

These entries serve to demonstrate fundamental chemistry concepts such as VSEPR theory, coordination chemistry, geometry, chirality and isomerism.  They may also contain examples of common classes of organic compounds or functional groups such as alkanes, alkenes, alkynes, ketones, esters, acids, alcohols and aldehydes.  Entries may also include common molecules of interest such as cholesterol, caffeine, or fullerene.


Drug Molecules

These entries contain common drug molecules of general interest such as aspirin, ephedrine, cisplatin and omeprazole.  This category also includes common vitamins and drug-like molecules such as vitamin C, theobromine, and nicotine.



Entries in this group contain molecules which exhibit the most commonly encountered point-group symmetries.



These entries are commonly encountered metal-organic framework materials.  MOF materials exhibit high porosity and are useful across a variety of fields including catalysis, gas storage and separation, and drug delivery.

Essential Nutrients

These entries contain a molecule that is an essential nutrient for the human body.  An essential nutrient cannot be synthesised in the body but is required for normal physiological functioning.  These nutrients therefore need to be consumed.  There are 9 amino acids, 2 fatty acids, 13 vitamins and 15 minerals, as well as choline that are essential nutrients.  


Click here to access our interactive on-line Teaching Subset in Access Structure. 

Download an annotated spreadsheet of all the structures in the Teaching Database:


Other ways to access the Teaching Subset

You can download the CIF files for all the structures included in the Teaching Subset from the Downloads page. There, click on CSD Educational Collection to expand it, and you can find the CIFs under "CSD Educational Collection CIFs".

 How to download the CIFs collection for the Teaching Subset

You can also access the Teaching Database in Mercury. From the CSD-Community menu, select Open Teaching Database.

How to open the Teaching Subset in Mercury


Using the Teaching Subset

The structures from the Teaching Subsets can be used by educators and students to enhance learning in the way that most suit their needs, as well as teaching and learning styles.

If you are looking for materials, examples, and inspiration, you can refer to the following resources: