MFX:  The Macromolecular Femtosecond Crystallography Station at LCLS

  • 10 - 40 Femtosecond X-ray Pulses - can outrun radiation damage
  • High Flux - 1012 photon/pulse in 3 µm2 spot
  • SAM robot and Blu-Ice GUI                    

The Macromolecular Femtosecond Crystallography (MFX) station at LCLS was designed and constructed in a collaboration between LCLS scientists and the Macromolecular Crystallography group of the Structural Molecular Biology division (SMB-MC) of the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lighthouse (SSRL). MFX makes use of a short 10 - 40 fs X-ray pulses from an X-ray Free Electron Laser (XFEL) that "outruns" radiation damage during an X-ray exposure. The "Diffraction-before-Destruction" and "Diffraction-before-Reduction" concepts enable high resolution "still" diffraction data to be collected on crystaline samples which are particularly sensitive to radiation damage such as very small microcrystals and metalloproteins. MFX has been designed to accommodate highly automated standard configurations for efficient serial crystallography experiments (originally developed on LCLS XPP and SSRL BL12-2) and also provides a flexible experimental environment compatible with a variety of custom equipment.

The LCLS-MFX Standard Goniometer Configuration

The standard goniometer configuration for fixed-target diffraction at MFX enables general users access to a number of automated methods for serial diffraction data collection at both cryogenic and room temperature/controlled humidity environments.  This standard configuration, developed by the SMB-MC group, is outfitted with the Stanford Auto-Mounter (SAM), a robot developed  for automated sample exchange and a high speed, high-precision goniometer for rapid and accurate sample and sample chip positioning.  Experiments are carried out using the standard SSRL Blu-Ice user interface and DCS control system.    

General LCLS users have the option to use the standard goniometer configuration for full experimental proposals or protein crystal screening (PCS) proposals.  This can save considerable time in experimental setup and preparation.  Use of the standard configuration is supported by LCLS and SSRL-SMB-MC support staff who are available to help you plan and carryout your experiment and may help with data processing and analysis.  Information about the use and capabilities of this standard configuration are below.

For more information about the capabilities of the standard goniometer configuration:

Contact Aina Cohen
Office Phone: 650-926-3125

General information about LCLS-MFX can be found on the LCLS MFX website.

Use of the Stanford Automated Mounter

  • Preparing and shipping cryocooled crystals in loops for meshes
  • Automated mounting and shipping samples at ambient temperature and controlled humidity
  • Use of high density sample chips and grids

    Serial Data Collection at LCLS-MFX using Blu-ice/DCSS

    • Helical data collection using long crystals
    • Multi/micro-crystal data collection
    • Use of grids and chips (crystals held in known positions on the mount)
    • Hit rate analysis and automated serial diffraction data processing 


      Beamline Parameters and Features

      • Parameter may be extended beyond stated limit. For consultation:

      Contact Aina Cohen
      Office Phone: 650-926-3125
      Status Operational
      Percentage General Use 100%
      Flux (p/s) 1e+12 (per pulse)
      Experiment Types Polychromatic, Femtosecond, Microbeam, Serial
      Energy Range (keV) 5 - 11
      Wavelength Range (A) 1.13 - 2.48
      Max Resolution (A) * 1.1
      Maximum Resolution Offset (A)
      Beam Size (um) * 1 x 1
      Max Beam Size (um) * 60
      Detector MX340-XFEL
      Detector Technology CCD
      Detector Size (mm x mm) 340 x 340
      Detector Pixel Size (um) 177
      Sample to Detector Range (mm) * 90 - 900
      Dead Time (ms) 1
      Max Image Rate (Hz) * 33
      Optimal Image Rate (Hz) 33
      Max Detector Horizontal Offset (mm) 200
      Max Detector Vertical Offset (mm) 10
      PRTs None
      Remote Access
      Remote Room Temperature***
      Data Collection Strategy
      Sample Rastering
      Auto-Data Processing
      Electric Field***
      Humidity Control**
      Elevated Temperature**
      Gas Pressurization
      Auto-Drug Pipeline***
      UV-Vis Spectroscopy
      Raman Spectroscopy**
      Serial Crystallography - MESH**
      Serial Crystallography - Viscous***
      Serial Crystallography - Extractor***
      Sample Storage - Incubator
      Sample Storage - Long Term**
      Microscope - High Mag