Featured beamlines // 14.12.2022 // DECTRIS

PILATUS4, a High-end Hybrid-photon-counting Detector, Will Follow the Legendary PILATUS3

Some friendly faces with the DECTRIS PILATUS3 X 2M CdTe at the DanMAX beamline of the MAX IV laboratory
From left to right: Dr. Dubravka Sisak Jung, Silvia Vogel & Dr. Felix Bachmair

A 5-minute read

Today, we formally announce that PILATUS3 will have a successor: next summer, we will launch PILATUS4. This also means that we will stop offering PILATUS3 detectors in the fall of 2023. Read on to learn more about our transition to the next generation PILATUS detector family!

PILATUS3: The First Detector “Fully Made by DECTRIS”

20 years ago, the enthusiastic work of a group of young scientists at the Paul Scherrer Institut (PSI) resulted in the development of the PILATUS detector. Through its commercialization, this detector became a legend and brought the hearts and minds of people together. 
At DECTRIS, the PILATUS3 project started ten years ago as an answer for scientific communities' needs of higher frame rates and high efficiency for hard X-rays. This development of a new platform for electronics and hardware resulted in the third child of the PILATUS family, PILATUS3. It was also the first detector entirely developed and produced by DECTRIS. 

“One big innovation was that PILATUS3 was able to run at much higher frame rates, which enabled a new way of measuring crystals. The other was the detector’s compatibility with a CdTe sensor, which gave access to high X-ray energies”, says Dr. Christian Brönnimann, founder of DECTRIS and leading inventor of PILATUS. 

The PILATUS3 family has been growing continuously, and its detectors have been installed at countless beamlines and in laboratory diffractometers. They have enabled techniques such as serial crystallography, high-energy scanning techniques, and high-energy macromolecular crystallography.

PILATUS3’s discontinuation next year feels like saying goodbye to a friend. However, DECTRIS will keep supporting PILATUS3 systems until 2031, and new developments are on their way. 

PILATUS4: a high-end detector that enables new types of experiments and faster measurements

The successor to PILATUS3 is… PILATUS4! This new detector series will offer exciting possibilities, particularly for high-energy beamlines: large pixels over large active areas, frame rates of more than 1 kHz over the full active area, and continuous readout for dead-time-free acquisitions. The official launch will take place at the IUCr conference 2023 in Melbourne, so be sure not to miss our lunchtime seminar. 

We thank all PILATUS3 users for years of amazing science, and we are looking forward to meeting you in Melbourne to discuss the new kid on the block: PILATUS4. 

Important Dates*

August 2023 - Official launch of PILATUS4 at the IUCr conference 
September 2023 - End of PILATUS3 sales
End of 2031 - Currently foreseen end of guaranteed support for PILATUS3
*subject to change without further notice

Are you interested in pre-ordering one of the first PILATUS4 systems? Contact us!

Further Reading

X-ray Technique: Macromolecular Crystallography
DECTRIS Application Webinar Series 2021: High X-ray Energies and Structural Biology
DECTRIS Webinar: Macromolecular Crystallography at High Energies

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