Unattended Data Collections

Unattended Data Collection (UDC) is a new mode of operation for the MX beamlines and can be used for fast and efficient data collection from 'reasonable-quality' macromolecular crystals whilst you do something more productive with your time. X-ray centring is used to align crystals to the X-ray beam and then data collections are performed based on user-provided diffraction plans.

Main Benefits of UDC

  • Rapid scheduling
  • No user input required during the beamtime - ship and forget until you get your results back
  • Uses standardised data collection protocols which have been optimised for each Diamond beamline

How does UDC work?

  1. Ensure all samples have been approved in the proposal risk assessment in UAS.
  2. Decide on the method of screening samples.
  3. Decide which experiment kind is required.
  4. Create a shipment, enter sample information and diffraction plan in ISPyB.
  5. Ship samples to Diamond.
  6. Once samples arrive, they will be given time on a beamline. The beamtime does not need to be scheduled in advance.
  7. Data are collected, and you will receive an email to say that the data collections have been completed.
  8. Request your samples are shipped back.

When to use UDC?

When to use UDC When not to use UDC
Single crystals Split crystals, multiple lattices

Projects requiring data collections from many crystals e.g.

  • searching for highest resolution native
  • ligand binding studies

Rapid feedback on a well characterised system from a small number of new crystals

Projects requiring manual input e.g.

  • Selecting best region from a crystal with pathologies
  • Line or wedged scans
  • Fluorescence scans

Standard SAD phasing experiments

  • Try this first if you have sufficient crystals

Phasing from limited number of crystals

Complex multicrystal phasing experiments

Energy range: 7-18KeV

Energies outside this range are supported in remote access


Current and future status

It is currently available on I03 and I04 is a key part of providing responsive beamtime allocation.

It will be made available on I04-1 and I24 following further development and testing.

Further options for more complex experiments and broadening the scope of samples that can be collected automatically will be made available.


Diamond Light Source

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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