ICSD – the Inorganic Crystal Structure Database

The Information Service for Inorganic Crystal Structures

ICSD is the world’s largest database for fully identified inorganic crystal structures. It is produced by FIZ Karlsruhe and currently contains about 185,000 crystal structures. Updates are made twice a year (in spring and in fall) with data taken from scientific journals and other sources.

Thanks to these many heterogeneous data sources the database has a wide coverage. ICSD is also updated retroactively. As all steps of the value generation chain – looking for sources, database production, data management – are performed here at FIZ Karlsruhe, we can always meet and maintain our high standards as to the reliability of the data.

About 6,000 structures are added to ICSD each year. The oldest records date back to the year 1913 and contain information from publications by William Henry Bragg and his son



William Henry Bragg with one of the crystal structures he identified

ICSD – an indispensable source of reference and the basis for inorganic crystallography and materials research


ICSD interface offers its users a modern, easy-to-use interface and state-of-the-art search options. The information contained in ICSD meets the expectations and requirements of scientists and materials scientists in an outstanding manner.

Each set of data contains the complete structure information on an inorganic crystal compound. The assignment of crystal structures to superordinate structure types, enabled by the classification according to simple criteria – e.g. Pearson symbol, ANX formula, and Wyckoff sequences –, constitutes a significant value-add.

Bibliographical information on the structure for further research is also provided and, in most cases, also a link to the corresponding full-text document. Physical and chemical properties are searchable. 




Screenshot of ICSD


Choose the ICSD interface that best suits your requirements.


  • ICSD-Web

ICSD-Web, introduced in 2009, is the most convenient interface. With ICSD-Web you can directly access the entire database with your loginID and password (or, with some licenses, via IP authentication). This user-friendly web version features a modern, intuitive interface with an attractive design and flexible display options. The search results can be easily exported. 


Order ICSD-Web

  • ICSD-Desktop

Another option is the ICSD-DVD which can be locally installed on your computer. Design and features of the ICSD-Desktop interface are similar to those of ICSD-Web. In addition, the DVD contains a Windows-based version for offline use with the FindIt software. FindIt was developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Gaithersburg, MD.

Order ICSD-Desktop


  •  ICSD on STN

You can also access ICSD via FIZ Karlsruhe’s online service STN International. You only need an STN account. Once registered, you can log on to STN using your STN loginID and password and access ICSD from there.

However, the ICSD data available on STN do not offer the same variety of search features as the web version. For example, the crystal structures cannot be directly displayed, and you need basic knowledge of the STN retrieval language. On the other hand, searching ICSD on STN offers the advantage that you can combine the search results retrieved from ICSD with other sci-tech and patent data available on STN, i.e., you can complement your crystal structure search with search results from other databases. 


STN International website


  • ICSD Intranet

This ICSD interface allows for the convenient integration of ICSD into corporate intranets. It is installed on local web servers. Please contact FIZ Karlsruhe for detailed information.

Contact our service team

  • ICSD trial version

Would you like to get an idea of ICSD and the benefits it offers? Our trial version grants you access to about 3% of the ICSD content with all ICSD-Web features available for a limited 30-day period – at no cost and without any obligation.

Create a demo account

Partners & partnerships

FIZ Karlsruhe as the producer of ICSD has many international partners.



National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg, MD, has developed the FindIt software which is still offered for the offline version alongside the newer desktop version.

In collaboration with NIST, old data sets related to metals and alloys were incorporated into ICSD from 2008 to 2013, thus significantly augmenting the total number of structure data contained in the database.   



International Union of Crystallography (IUCr)

Another important partner is the International Union of Crystallography (IUCr) in Cambridge. IUCr is a scientific organization that publishes many important works in the field of crystallography, e.g. the Tables of Crystallography and various scientific journals like Acta Crystallographica A-F, Journal of Applied Crystallography, Journal of Synchrotron Radiation and IUCrJ. The IUCr invites all its journal authors to deposit the inorganic crystal structures they have published in FIZ Karlsruhe’s crystal structure depot.


Dr. Helmut Müller

Dr. Helmut Müller
Head Science

Phone: +49 030 399934 67

More Information