PILATUS3 R for laboratory MX

Your laborartory source is orders of magnitude lower in flux than any synchrotron beamline. Measuring weak high-resolution reflections with best possible accuracy determines map quality and eventually your success in macromolecular crystallography. The signal-to-noise ratio of weak reflections is particularly improved by the absence of detector noise in PILATUS3 detectors and the sharp point-spread function, which reduces overlap of diffraction intensities with scattering background. Additionally, fine-slicing strategies can be used to further improve data quality by minimizing background overlap along the direction of rotation and reducing spot overlaps (Fig.1). Noise-free PILATUS detectors enable optimal fine-slicing [1], whereas CCD or CMOS active pixel detectors require compromises because of readout or reset noise.

Beam stability is crucial for experimental phasing and a feature in which your in-house instrument can outperform synchrotron beamlines. Maximize this advantage of your home source by matching it with a PILATUS3 R. The combination of a highly stable home source with a noise-free, high-sensitivity detector increases your success in S-SAD and other experimental phasing methods for which data accuracy is paramount.

With a readout time of only 7 ms for full images, PILATUS3 R detectors enable shutterless data acquisition in continuous rotation. This reduces total acquisition times and maximizes efficiency; a critical advantage in high-throughput applications such as fragment screening. Furthermore, continuous rotation data collection enables the collection of fine-sliced data sets with the same acquisition times as wide sliced data.

The new PILATUS3 R 1M with its large active area of 169 by 179 millimeters represents the ideal upgrade path for all time-honored imaging plate and CCD detectors. It excels in all laboratory applications such as screening for optimal crystallisation conditions to efficient ligand screening and challenging experimental phasing.

PILATUS3 R for laboratory SAXS

PILATUS3 R detectors are perfectly suited to in-house SAXS instrumentation owing to their high dynamic range, absence of readout noise and dark current, high sensitivity and superior stability. Measuring extremely weak signals at high q-ranges requires long exposure times. With the complete absence of dark current, PILATUS3 detectors excel in delivering superior data for long exposure times. Another advantage when using PILATUS3 R in the laboratory is its high detection stability that allows for the determination and subtraction of solvent scattering with best accuracy even for very long exposure times. This outstanding stability results from the combination of single-photon counting in hybrid pixel technology and simple, yet highly stable water-cooling.

The remarkable performance of all PILATUS3 detectors in accurately measuring weak signals enables you to succeed when dealing with diluted samples. The combination of SAXS with size-exclusion chromatography is a powerful method for studying aggregation or degradation prone systems, transient complexes, and multiple oligomerization states. A noise-free PILATUS3 detector makes these studies on diluted samples feasible in your laboratory [2]. Furthermore, the high frame rates and low readout time also enables finely sampled data collection over the course of protein elution while maximizing acquisition time. Fine-sampling of data collection over long total exposure times is also extremely useful in conventional SAXS experiments, since it reveals valuable information about radiation damage during data acquisition.



Figure 1: Fine φ-slicing with PILATUS.
Each data set was collected at 0.1 °/s in only 30 minutes with rotation width and exposure time per image as indicated in the legend. Excellent data are obtained with short acquisition times. Exploiting fine-sliced data collection with a noise-free PILATUS leads to optimal data quality as indicated by the improvement of Rmerge and I/sigma(I) for decreasing oscillation angle. (Insulin, 180° total rotation, microfocus sealed-tube, PILATUS 300K)


[1] Mueller, M., Wang, M. & Schulze-Briese, C. Optimal fine φ-slicing for single-photon-counting pixel detectors. Acta crystallographica. Section D, Biological crystallography 68, 42–56 (2012). doi:10.1107/S0907444911049833

[2] Wright, G. S. a. et al. The application of hybrid pixel detectors for in-house SAXS instrumentation with a view to combined chromatographic operation. Journal of Synchrotron Radiation 20, 2009–2011 (2013). doi:10.1107/S0909049513001866