VMXm is a micro/nanofocus Macromolecular Crystallography (MX) beamline aimed at atomic structure determination in cases where the production of significant quantities of protein material and crystals is problematic. Indeed this is the case for many challenging protein complexes and medically important macromolecules that yield only very small crystals.
The X-ray beam size on VMXm will be less that 0.5 microns and with the use of novel X-ray optics and electron beam imaging methods we will be able to precisely align the tiniest protein crystals into this X-ray beam, in vacuo, and measure X-ray diffraction data from them.
The ability to tune the X-ray energy will allow us to obtain additional information from heavy atoms with in the macromolecules to aid in structure determination by multicrystal SAD or MAD methods.
In many ways VMXm will be a hybrid X-ray/cryoEM instrument making use of methods for sample preparation from cryo-electron-microscopy, imaging from scanning electron microscopy and diffraction data collection methods from X-ray crystallography.
VMXm is currently under construction and is schedule for first user operations towards the end of 2017.
Some key points about VMXm:
Principal Beamline Scientist, Gwyndaf Evans (left), and Senior Beamline Scientist, Jose Trincao.
2014 - Technical Design Review
2015 - Detailed design and procurement
2016 - Beamline construction and optics installation
2017 - Optics commissioning and end-station installation
October 2017 - First user
|Vertical beam size||0.5 - 5 microns|
|Horizontal beam size||0.5 - 4 microns|
|X-ray energy range||7.0 - 25.0 keV|
|Wavelength range||0.57 - 2.0 Å|
Diamond Light Source is the UK's national synchrotron science facility, located at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire.
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