Structural study of trehalose dihydrate by neutron and X-ray diffraction experiments

Miwako Takahashi, Takuro Kawasaki, Kunimitsu Kataoka, Masashi Watanabe, Yukio Noda, Ken Ichi Ohshima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The structure of α,α-trehalose dihydrate was studied by neutron and X-ray di.raction experiments to understand the relation between its superior biological protective function and the role of the hydrogen bond connecting the trehalose molecules. By direct observation of hydrogen using the neutron di.raction method, the nuclear positions and anisotropic thermal parameters of hydrogen atoms are determined accurately. The nuclear positions show clear discrepancies from the centers of the electron cloud of hydrogen determined from the X-ray data. The result is interpreted in terms of a local electric dipole moment in the hydrogen atoms. The magnitude of the dipole moment is markedly large for the hydrogen atoms participating in the hydrogen bond. The detailed electron density distribution has been determined by using X-ray data obtained at 150 K. It clearly shows the electron cloud of hydrogen spreading over the chain of hydrogen bonds. It was found that there is a part where the electron density is very low on the hydrogen bond between water and trehalose molecules, implying a loose connection between them. The mechanism of the biological protective function is discussed from the viewpoint of crystal deformation process through the loose connection.

Original languageEnglish
Article number074608
Journaljournal of the physical society of japan
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Jul


  • Neutron diffraction
  • Structural analysis
  • X-ray diffraction
  • α,α-trehalose dihydrate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Structural study of trehalose dihydrate by neutron and X-ray diffraction experiments'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this