Serial Synchrotron Crystallography (SSX) is an emerging method allowing new experiments and insight complementing standard microfocus MX. At I24 we are developing serial approaches and a number of these are available for routine use. We work closely with the XFEL Hub to continually develop and improve serial functionality. Our primary expertise is in fixed target serial crystallography but other approaches are also available (see below).
Serial data collection at I24 is an emerging area and is new to many users - we appreciate it if you contact us ahead of your experiment. We can assist with all stages of the experiment from sample preparation, to optimal modes of data collection, and data processing.
If you are new to serial, get in touch and we can offer short beamtime sessions to get going and/or help with sample questions. Take a look at the animations below for an overview of fixed target and extruder SSX
Applying: see notes here
|Tool||Notes and status|
Available. It is highly advantageous to test droplet ejection ahead of beamtime - get in touch
|Laser excitation||Fully tuneable pharos laser system available. Note this system is shared between multiple beamlines and should be booked well in advance|
|LED excitation||Also available. Significantly lower power than the pharos but often sufficient. Get in touch with your wavelength requirements|
|Detector||Pilatus 6M or Eiger CdTe 9M available|
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 'chips' originally developed a few years ago in collaboration with Hamburg. We have recently developed our own chips and have collected good quality data using them at both I24 and XFEL sources. 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).
While data collection is not through GDA, data collections are recorded as usual in ispyb and automated processing is available.
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 good hands on guide to I24 fixed target data collection is Horrell et al JoVE (2021)
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.
Thin films can provide an extremely convenient means of high throughput room temperature data collection especially when the number of crystals available is limited.
Thin film data collection such as that shown in the image above can be done straightforwardly within your 'normal' beamtime. Higher area/capacity film options are also available. Contact staff for details.
For details of think film data collection at Diamond see Axford et al (2016)
Fixed Target data collection: from crystals to structure
High viscosity extruder: from crystals to structure
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