DECTRIS launches the new EIGER2 XE product line for synchrotron beamlines. The new 16M and 9M detectors are the fastest large area X-ray detectors on the market, which means they help beamline scientists get even more and better results in an even shorter time. DECTRIS introduced the upgrade at the American Crystallographic Association’s (ACA) Annual Meeting in Covington.
So how fast are the XE detectors? You can read the full specs here or on the product page, but to give you some idea, think of a 16M detector with 500 Hz, summarizes DECTRIS synchrotron product manager Stefan Brandstetter. This is practically a new paradigm in X-ray detection, and the speed will undoubtedly spark new research avenues.
Large and fast detectors are typically in high demand in macromolecular crystallography (MX) (see this article for example), but that is not the only field that can take a step forward with a next generation detector. Materials science and small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) will also find use for such unprecedented performance, Brandstetter believes.
The path from the first PILATUS to the EIGER2 XE has followed a pattern: although each product was the best on the market and well liked by scientists, DECTRIS chose to compete with itself by introducing an upgrade as soon as the technology was ready. As a result, these new detectors provide two orders of magnitude more data than the original PILATUS 6M-FAST. That’s equivalent to a difference between an Olympic sprinter and a top-notch fighter jet.
Why does DECTRIS launch new products so frequently? “Because that’s who we are!” Brandstetter states. “We already had the biggest and fastest solutions before the XE, so we could have just sat back and cashed in on our success. But where’s the fun in that?” he explains. “We do it to challenge ourselves; we do it for science.”
In the end, keeping ahead of the curve is also good for everybody’s business. It’s not in a scientist’s nature to stay put, and that applies to both the DECTRIS developers creating new solutions and to the users looking for their next scientific breakthrough.