A unique facility dedicated to directly solving the crystallographic phase problem from native proteins. It is the first macromolecular crystallography (MX) beamline optimised for the long wavelength region, which will allow for the detection of diffraction from sulphur and phosphorus in protein and DNA crystals.
To facilitate long-wavelength MX, several aspects have to be addressed. To eliminate air absorption and scattering, the complete beamline including sample environment and detector is operated in vacuum. Sample cooling is realised by a conductive cooling link through the goniometer and sample mount. To access the large diffraction angles at long wavelengths, a custom-made semi-cylindrical detector has been built. An X-ray tomography camera has been integrated into the sample environment to obtain a 3D model as a basis for an analytical absorption correction.
After successful first experiments, solving novel structures from several protein and DNA samples, the beamline is now entering an optimisation phase. Over the next months, the I23 team will continue beamline commissioning to improve sample handling and vacuum transfer, and increase throughput. As I23 allows experiments in a wavelength range not accessible at any other synchrotron instrument around the world, careful evaluation of data collection strategies will be needed to provide best conditions for future beamline users.
I23 will be uniquely placed for researchers from the UK and worldwide community to solve structures from the most challenging targets which are not amenable to the facilities elsewhere at Diamond or at other synchrotrons. For more information on I23, or to discuss potential applications, contact Principal Beamline Scientist Dr Armin Wagner: firstname.lastname@example.org
The XPDF beamline is a side-station to the I15 Extreme Conditions beamline. The design allows both beamlines to operate concurrently. XPDF will be dedicated to, and optimised for, pair distribution function (PDF) measurements. The PDF is the histogram of interatomic distances within a material and provides quantitative information on the local structure. Specialised processing software has been developed which will ultimately produce PDF data in real-time at the point of data collection, providing an unparalleled user-friendly X-ray PDF beamline and allowing non-expert users to use this powerful technique.
XPDF will be applicable to a diverse range of disciplines such as materials chemistry, solid-state physics, earth sciences and pharmaceuticals. Researchers will be able to study the local structure of crystalline, semi-crystalline and amorphous solids and liquids with a speed and robustness which has not been possible at Diamond before. The beamline optics and end station have been optimised to give the high X-ray energy, high flux and low background signal which are necessary for quality PDF data. The end station for XPDF is now complete. Sample environments will initially focus on high-throughput capillary samples, including variable temperature experiments from 85 K to 1200 K. The flexibility of the sample station should facilitate the development and installation of more complex transmission geometry sample environments in the near future.
First light and first users were achieved in April 2016. A commissioning call has been announced and a full open call is expected in September 2016 for beamtime in 2017. For more information or to discuss potential applications, contact Beamline Scientist Dr Phil Chater: email@example.com