Macromolecular Crystallography

The knowledge of the three-dimensional structure of organic macromolecules is important for understanding biological function. It is critical for rationalizing the effects of disease-causing mutations and for understanding the physiologies of cancer and aging on a molecular level.

Macromolecular crystallography determines the atomic structure of biological macromolecules (mostly proteins and DNA) and their complexes by diffracting X-rays through a crystal grown from the studied macromolecule. DECTRIS produces the world’s highest-quality detectors to collect data at synchrotron light sources.

Macromolecular Crystallography

Macromolecular crystallography determines the atomic structure of biological macromolecules (mostly proteins and DNA) and their complexes by diffracting X-rays through a crystal grown from the macromolecule under study.

In contrast to synchrotrons, laboratory X-ray sources produce radiation at lower flux. Without dark current and readout noise, Dectris’ EIGER and PILATUS detectors can make arbitrary extensions of exposure time possible. Data quality at short exposure times — or finely sliced data collection — benefits from the absence of readout noise. Consequently, every crystal, no matter how weakly diffracting, can be measured at the laboratory X-ray source. Promising crystals for synchrotron experiments can be identified with confidence.

Most laboratory X-ray sources produce photons at 8.0 keV. At this energy level, sulfur atoms in most proteins produce weak anomalous signals that are often sufficient for experimental phasing. The high data quality obtained with EIGER and PILATUS detectors makes it possible to determine novel structures in the laboratory, without resorting to time-consuming work at a synchrotron.
Now, macromolecular crystallographers can obtain superb data at short acquisition times in their home laboratories.

Application note: Macromolecular Crystallography in the Laboratory

EIGER2 R 1M

  • 1 millon hybrid pixels provide great versatility
  • No readout noise enables fine-slicing and high multiplicity strategies
  • No dark current for better data from long exposures
  • Direct detection and small pixels for best spot separation
  • High dynamic range with more than 4 billion counts per pixel

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EIGER2 R 4M

  • Large active area of 155 by 163 mm
  • No readout noise enables fine-slicing and high multiplicity strategies
  • No dark current for better data from long exposures
  • Direct detection and small pixels for best spot separation
  • High dynamic range with more than 4 billion counts per pixel

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PILATUS3 R 1M

  • Largest active area rivals image plates
  • No readout noise enables fine-slicing and high multiplicity strategies
  • No dark current for better data from long exposures
  • Direct detection for improved spot separation
  • High dynamic range with more than 1 million counts per pixel

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EIGER2 XE 16M

  • More than 18 million pixels
  • Detection area of 311 x 328 mm²
  • Continuous readout
  • 3 microseconds dead time
  • Region-of-interest
  • 133 Hz operation

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EIGER2 XE 9M

  • More than 9 million pixels
  • Detection area of 233 x 245 mm²
  • Continuous readout
  • 3 microseconds dead time
  • Region-of-interest
  • 238 Hz operation

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EIGER2 X 16M

  • More than 18 million pixels
  • Detection area of 311 x 328 mm2
  • Continuous readout
  • 3 microseconds dead time
  • Region-of-interest
  • 133 Hz operation

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EIGER2 X 9M

  • More than 9 million pixels
  • Detection area of 233 x 245 mm2
  • Continuous readout
  • 3 microseconds dead time
  • Region-of-interest
  • 238 Hz operation

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EIGER2 X 4M

  • Up to 750 Hz frame rate
  • Serial millisecond crystallography
  • Detection area of 155 x 162 mm2
  • Continuous readout
  • 3 microseconds dead time
  • Light construction 15 kg

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PILATUS3 X CdTe 2M

  • Efficiency up to 75% at 80 keV
  • More than 2.4 million pixels
  • Large detection area 253 x 288 mm2
  • Instant retrigger technology
  • 10 million counts per second and pixel at 12 keV
  • Region-of-interest
  • 250 Hz operation

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PILATUS3 X 6M

  • More than 6 million pixels
  • Largest detection area 423 x 434 mm2
  • Instant retrigger technology
  • 10 million counts per second and pixel at 12 keV
  • Region-of-interest
  • 100 Hz operation

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PILATUS3 X 2M

  • More than 2.4 million pixels
  • Large detection area 253 x 288 mm2
  • Instant retrigger technology
  • 10 million counts per second and pixel at 12 keV
  • Region-of-interest
  • 250 Hz operation

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PILATUS3 S 6M

  • re than 6 million pixels
  • Largest detection area 423 x 434 mm2
  • Economic solution - less than 1M CHF
  • Instant retrigger technology
  • 10 million counts per second and pixel at 12 keV

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PILATUS3 S 2M

  • More than 2.4 million pixels
  • Large detection area 253 x 288 mm2
  • Economic solution * instant retrigger technology
  • 10 million counts per second and pixel at 12 keV

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