A method for forming synthetic crystals of proteins in a carrier fluid by use of the dipole moments of protein macromolecules that self-align in the Helmholtz layer adjacent to an electrode. The voltage gradients of such layers easily exceed 10.sup.6 V/m. The synthetic protein crystals are subjected to x-ray crystallography to determine the conformational structure of the protein involved.
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-7405-ENG-48 between the United States Department of Energy and the University of California for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.