oSSD web site

Open Surface Structure Database (oSSD)
Open access version of NIST SSD, Version 5

Version 1.0 (May 2014)

A collection of quantitative surface structures published 1974 - 2004



The Open Surface Structure Database (oSSD) collects quantitative surface structures from experimental studies published between 1974, the beginning of surface crystallography, and 2004, when all "basic" structures had been explored. It is the open access version of Version 5 of the Surface Structure Database (SSD, Database # 42) published by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and distributed until 2011. At present, there are no plans to update the collection by including more recent surface structures.

The oSSD provides extensive information about critically selected surface structures. A unified format is used to allow convenient direct comparisons of related but different structures, or of results obtained with different techniques for the same structure. Powerful tools are available for searching the database and for the graphical visualization and analysis of individual structures. The minimum criteria for inclusion of structures in the database are: The oSSD includes: Unintentional omissions of structures and errors in our tabulations are possible. The authors of affected structures are invited to submit their corrections directly to one of the database authors.

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Latest update version as of June 27, 2019

Start downloading the oSSD package in a single file (20 MB) by identifying yourself with your name and email address.
(This information will be used ONLY for announcements of major updates and not passed on to others. Obviously fake or obscene addresses will not be accepted.)

Your name

Your e-mail address

To complete downloading click the download button.


After having downloaded file oSSDInstall.exe you may install oSSD on your PC. For instructions see INSTALLATION on this page.

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The INSTALLATION of oSSD is straightforward and consists in the most general case of four steps. (Note that you need Administrator status on your PC. Further, your browser may have download switches set such that one or more of the following steps are performed automatically.)
  1. Unpack all files by running the downloaded file oSSDInstall.exe. (Your browser may use a default directory for file downloading. Then you may have to look for this file in your PC with Window's find option.) This will ask you for the name of an installation subdirectory, e.g. c:\temp (or any other temporary directory, which must be different from the permanent directory where you wish oSSD to be installed). This subdirectory contains all system installation files. Note that the installation directory cannot be used as the final oSSD directory, see step 2.

  2. Install all oSSD files by running Setup.exe inside the installation subdirectory (see step 1). This will ask you for the name of the final oSSD subdirectory, e.g. c:\Program files\oSSD (or any other permanent directory, called $oSSDdir in the following), to contain the oSSD package.

  3. Install the Compaq fortran runtime libraries by running VFRUN660I.exe in directory $oSSDdir.

  4. Set an oSSD icon on the desktop. Go to directory $oSSDdir and create a shortcut of oSSD.exe (open directory $oSSDdir with your file explorer, right-click file oSSD.exe, choose "Create Shortcut" from the menu which creates a shortcut file) and drag the shortcut file onto the desktop.

  5. Clean up by removing all installation files from the temporary installation directory TEMP. You may leave the original download file oSSDInstall.exe for backup purposes.

NOTE that Microsoft in its wisdom has discontinued supporting the traditional Windows help engine (WinHlp32.exe) with the MS Windows Vista and later operating systems. This can make the oSSD and Survis help option unavailable. However, the traditional Help engine can be downloaded from Microsoft and installed in your Windows PC. This will enable the oSSD and Survis help option.

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We are open to any questions concerning the oSSD software. You can contact the authors using addresses

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