New crystal growth equipment in New Mexico Highlands’ Department of Science will open the doors for research collaboration around the region, according to university officials. New Mexico Highlands unveiled its new single-crystal x-ray diffractometer March 20 by highlighting projects conducted with the equipment by researchers from Los Alamos Laboratories, the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology and Georgia Institute of Technology. New Mexico Highlands students participated in the research. “We now have a tremendous amount of research and grant activity at Highlands,” said university President Jim Fries. The diffractometer allows researchers to observe the crystallization process from liquids in real time. “This was one of the first x-ray machines of its kind to arrive in the United States,” said Highlands natural sciences professor Tatiana Timofeeva. “There are still not many around. This is one of the reasons other universities want to do research with us.”Timofeeva said research with the diffractometer can have an impact on everything from pharmaceuticals to cosmetics. New Mexico Highlands acquired the diffractometer from a National Science Foundation grant designed to promote instruction and laboratory research.”The x-ray machine expands the opportunity for Highlands to have national and international research collaborative,” said Highlands natural sciences professor Merritt Helvenston.