Beamline Instrumentation

State-of-the-art beamline instrumentation and hardware, including in-house developed goniometers, Sample Mounting Robots, in-situ UV-Vis Micospectrometers and high sensitivity X-ray Detectors, are available for users to carrying out cutting-edge structural biology research.

Additional On-Site Instrumentation is also available for on-site users.

Stanford Auto-Mounter (SAM)

Each beamline is equipped with an in-house developed Stanford Auto-Mounter (SAM) robotic system for automated sample mounting on the X-ray goniometer. The system can mount cryo-cooled samples mounted on cryo-pins from SAM cassettes or uni-pucks (Fig. 1). The robotic mounting system allows the majority of our users to run experiments remotely from their home labs and to automatically screen 100;s of crystals without intervention.

Figure 1. SAM Sample Cassette and Uni-Puck. (Click-on to enlarge)

For a comprehensive instructional guide read the SAM Manual.
For information on the development of the SAM system, see the SAM Development pages.

UV-Vis Microspectrometer

Several beamlines are equipped with an in-house developed automated UV-Vis microspectrometer (Fig. 2). By default, a 50 micron light spot is used to illuminate the sample. With a special setup, a 5 micron light spot in the visible range can be achieved. Spectroscopy data can be collected in various modes including single snapshots, phi-rotation, X-ray dose and time (Fig. 3).  Spectra can also be interleaved with data collection.

Figure 2. Uv-Vis microspectrometer objective lenses inserted at the sample position. (Click-on to enlarge)

Figure 3. Time lapsed UV-Vis spectra. (Click-on to enlarge)

For a comprehensive instructional guide on how to use the UV-Vis microspectrometer, read the Microspec Tab Manual.
For information on the development of the microspectrometer system, see the Microspectrometer Development pages.

Axial-Mounted Cryo-Cooling System

Each beamline is equipped with a cryo-cooler which keeps the sample at cryogenic temperature (~100 K).  The cryo-nozzle is mounted axially with respect the goniometer Phi axis and a heat shield prevents the goniometer from icing.  The axial mount assures quick equilibrium and the entire sample assembly stays at a constant temperature when it is rotated.  This feature turns out to be important for keeping small crystals at the center of rotation during data collection.


The following high-performance X-ray detectors are currently integrated into the MC beamline control systems:

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

Contact Aina Cohen
Office Phone: 650-926-3125
BL12-1 bltest BL12-2 BL9-2 BL14-1 BL7-1 MFX
Detector Eiger 16M Pilatus 6M Pilatus 6M MAR325 Quantum315 MX340-XFEL
Detector Company Dectris dectis Dectris Dectris Rayonix ADSC Rayonix
Technology PAD ccd PAD PAD CCD CCD CCD
Max Image Rate (Hz) * >100 20 20 0.5 0.5 33
Detector Dead Time (ms) 2e-3 3 3 5e+2 5e+2 1
Detector Size (mm x mm) 311 x 328 431 x 448 431 x 448 325 x 325 315 x 315 340 x 340
Detector Pixel Size (um x um) 75 172 172 79 50 177
Sample to Detector Range (mm) * 50 - 850 188 - 900 165 - 650 120 - 500 110 - 650 90 - 900
Max Resolution (A) * 0.69 0.88 0.95 0.81 1.0 1.1
Maximum Resolution Offset (A) 0.52 0.67 0.76 0.86