Serial Synchrotron Crystallography (SSX) is an emerging method driven, in part, by the sample requirements imposed by X-ray Free Electron Lasers. Serial techniques can also be exploited at synchrotrons, especially at microfocus beamlines, opening up many new opportunities. At I24 we have developed serial approaches primarily based on fixed targets though other approaches are also available (see below).
Serial data collection at I24 is an emerging area and we hope to offer it as a standard user mode in the near future. We are currently in the final stages of commissioning with a small number of user groups. We are extremely keen to continue testing with more user groups. If you would like to be part of the commissioning phase please contact the PBS.
Fixed Target Serial Synchrotron Crystallography (FT-SSX) is attractive as it potentially offers high hit-rates coupled with modest sample consumption. Further, the same approach can be used almost without modification at both synchrotrons and FELs.
Our fixed target approach makes use of silcon nitride 'chips' has been developed over the last few years in collaboration with the Miller groups in Toronto and Hamburg. The current generation of chip is capable of holding >25,000 crystals.
Chips are mounted on a high-speed, high-precision xyz stage mounted at the sample position. This setup allows data collection from all 25,600 positions on a chip in less than 10 minutes.
Data collection is straightforward and via a staff written gui (shown below).
Diffraction data suitable for structure solution are routinely collected. During data collection basic information on hit-rate is available via the software sloth.
We are always happy to look in new directions and this is a rapidly evolving area. If you have samples of interest or your own fixed targets you'd like to try please get in touch.
References / further information
A LCP extruder can be mounted at I24 relatively easily with data collection available through a staff written gui. We are working on improving the implementation of this and also implementation at other beamlines. If you're interested please get in touch.
Perhaps not truly SSX but provides an extremely convenient means of high throughput room temperature data collection especially when the number of crystals available is limited.
Thin film data collection can be done straightforwardly within your 'normal' beamtime. Contact staff for details.
For details of think film data collection at Diamond see Axford et al (2016)
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