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Library Research Guides

Cambridge Structural Database

A powerful and flexible resource to discover the knowledge contained within more than 500,000 crystal structures.


Access WebCSD online.

No need to install the desktop application.

(NOTE: as of April 2017, the only Web browsers that are fully compatible with WebCSD are Internet Explorer v.6.0 or later and Safari v.4.0 or later, due to WebCSD's reliance on Java applets for structure searching.  If you prefer not to use either of these browsers, we recommend that you install CSDS on your local computer as described below. CCDC reports that they will remove the reliance on Java in WebCSD 2.0; no release date is yet available.)

You can search and browse crystal strcutures and associated information in CSD through WebCSD.

Search Functionality of WebCSD

  • Text and numeric
  • Reduced cell
  • 2D structure
  • 2D structure similarity (desktop application cannot do)
  • View specific refcode or browser the CSD

What can you not do through WebCSD?

  • The 3D structure search function is not available in the WebCSD.
  • You cannot validate molecular geometries of your crystal structure in WebCSD, you will need to use Mogul in the CSDS suite to do so.
  • You cannot investigate interactions between molecules in WebCSD.

Learn more about WebCSD at the WebCSD tutorials tab.

CSDS Components

The Cambridge Structural Database System (CSDS) is a suite of desktop applications. It has several components working together to allow you accomplish different tasks with the CSD.

Starting from 2016, we have access to the CSD Enterprise version as an academic subscriber. This CSD Product Data Sheet listed out all the products we have access to under the CSD Enterprise column.

Please see the following table for the major functions of those components we have access to.

CSDS Components Functionality
ConQuest       Search and retrieve information from CSD
Mercury Visualize and explore extended molecular networks
Mogul Instantly validate molecular germetries
IsoStar client Rapidly assess intermolecular interactions
Prequest Create in-House databases in CSD format


Here are a few new components we have access to starting from 2016.


CSDS Components Functionality
Conformer Generator Ligand-based drug design. Solid state confirmation exploration.
Hermes Comprehensive protein visualisation. Part of Gold Suite.
Gold Protein-ligand docking
CSD Phython API create tailored scripts using all CSD functionality to answer targeted research questions, or integrate access to crystal data and CSD functions into 3rd party software.
Relibase Storage and analysis of macromolecular structural data.


There are two additional applications we have access to.

Components Functionality
SuperStar/Gold suite (Win and Linux) Predict intermolecular interactions using experimental data. Structure-based drug design.
DASH (Win only) Structure determination from powder diffraction data


Please refer to the Access tab to learn how to install the above tools on your computer. 

CCDC Solution Guide page will provide more information on which tools could be used for Structure-based drug design, Medicinal chemistry, Pharmaceutical formulation and development, Crystallography, and Education.