For all microscopes please arrive at 9am on the start day of your session in the entrance hall of the i14/eBIC building.
Electron Bio-Imaging Centre (eBIC)
Diamond Light Source
Harwell Science and Innovation Campus
If you need assistance please contact the Experimental Hall Coordinators on +44 (0)1235 77 8787.
Directions to Diamond itself can be found here.
Successful Rapid proposals will be scheduled time on the microscope which will often be allocated in 48 hour slots. However for sessions scheduled on a Friday 72 hours may be given depending on microscope cryo-cycles. Users will be expected to be available during office hours on the first day either in person or via a telephone/video call and provide suitable samples for automated data collection to run for the following 40 hours.
For BAG proposals sessions may be longer than 48 hours. However we recommend that each sample is given a 48 hour slot. Preferably all samples will be loaded on the first day of the BAG session but new samples can be loaded every 48 hours.
Data Storage: All raw data are permanently archived by Diamond to tape media but remain accessible on spinning disk for 40 days. Support for HDD backups has been phased out and users should copy their data via high bandwidth file transfer systems such as Globus or SFTP.
Samples: All proposals require evidence of suitable cryo EM samples (see Acceptance Criteria). Currently we do not have the facilities to offer onsite sample preparation and request that users bring sufficient grids for their full allocation of instrument time.
Principal Investigators will be prompted to submit the experimental team and sample information via the User Administration System (UAS). These will be processed and the PI will receive the details.
Please remember to put all samples you are bringing to Diamond on the ERA, as samples not on the ERA will NOT be loaded into the microscopes.
Hazard Group 2 (HG2) or above biological specimens: Samples requiring decontamination with agents other than 70% ethanol can not be handled at eBIC. If your HG2 sample can be decontaminated with ethanol you must evidence this in the ERA.
Once a sample is approved in the UAS system you can ship it to eBIC. If it is HG2 the following statement needs to be included with the sample: “Contents: Biological substance category B (UN3373) packed on EM support grids. Packed in accordance with (Special Provision A152)”. It is the user’s responsibility to ensure that the sample falls
within UN3373 regulations and is packaged in accordance with Special Provision A152. The dewar will require labelling as a UN3373 sample. For further information please contact the Diamond SHE group.
Your grids should be well optimised in advance of your visit to eBIC. We recommend that you bring no more than 8 grids as we will load up to 4 grids per 48 hour session. An exception to this are BAG sessions of greater than 48 hours duration.
Academic users from UK and Europe are coordinated by Diamond. Full details can be found
*** Please note when following links 'here' and 'DHL' you are leaving eBIC webpages (shipping information is hosted by the Macromolecular Crystallography department). IMPORTANT NOTICE: Please direct questions about shipping to the eBIC team: (EBICadmin@diamond.ac.uk)***
For users outside the UK and EU you should still label your dewar shipment with our labels which are easily generated through ISPYB but you will need to arrange shipping through your normal university supplier.
If you have the FEI auto-grid loading station we recommend that you clip your grids in advance.
Please consider the imaging conditions and detector you wish to use prior to your visit and feel free to contact eBIC staff with specific questions.
Support for HDD backups has been phased out and users should copy their data via high bandwidth file transfer systems such as Globus or SFTP.
At the microscope
Users of all Krios microscopes should meet their local contact in the eBIC building. The standard user day is listed below:
- 9 - 9.30: Session starts
- 9.15 - 10.15: Load upto 4 grids into auto grid cartridges and the Krios cassette
- 10.20 - 10-30: Load auto grid cassette into the Krios
- 10.30 – 12: Survey grids to determine the best grid
- 12 – 12.45: Collect grid atlas image
- 12.45 – 3: Setup EPU/TOMO4/SerialEM, microscope alignments, detector gain references
- 3 – 4: Check images, assess CTF and particle density.
- Automatic data collection for ~40 hours.
The responsibility for monitoring an ongoing data collection session resides with the user and instructions on how to do this can be found here:
If you observe an issue with ongoing data collection please inform the EHCs on 01235 778787 who will communicate the issue to a Local Contact as required.
Users publishing work containing data from eBIC should ensure they:
- Acknowledge DLS and any of its personnel in any published material that results from their use of the Cryo-EM facilities. The following statement should always be included in any publications:
“(We acknowledge) Diamond for access and support of the Cryo-EM facilities at the UK national electron bio-imaging centre (eBIC), proposal EM####, funded by the Wellcome Trust, MRC and BBSRC.”
- Notify DLS of the title, authors, facility, journal and reference number, date of acceptance and publication of any scientific publications or papers as a result of their use of the beamtime.
- Notify DLS if they plan to publish any materials e.g. general reports, press releases, etc. that result from their use of the beamtime prior to the material being published and allow time for DLS to review such material and give its prior permission to publish such material if reasonably requested by DLS.