IC carries out studies and research activities, basic and applied, in various fields of science. They range from the development of crystallographic methodologies and automatic calculations of X-ray diffraction from single or powder crystals (areas where the Institute has also been internationally credited as an important developer of algorithms and software) to chemistry and structural biology.

In addition, the Institute deals with physics of diffraction, studies interdisciplinary problems of structural chemistry, such as molecular modeling in the field of bio-pharmacology; it also carries out research for the design on molecular basis, synthesis, production, crystallization and structural and functional characterization of biomolecules, in solid or liquid phase, also in interaction with ligands and / or metals, for biotechnological and / or pharmaceutical applications, whilst studying materials of technological interest such as structural nanomaterials and innovative biomaterials. Finally, the Institute develops instrumental research, including innovative sensors and biosensors, based on analysis techniques of photosynthetic proteins, suitable for multiple environmental, food and medical applications.

For its specifics, within its various types of know-how and multidisciplinary competences, IC has addressed different areas, such as Nanomedicine, Biosciences, Chemistry and Structural Biology, Applied Chemistry and/or Physics, Material Science, with great potential in both basic and applied research.