Download citation
Download citation
link to html
Serial femtosecond crystallography (SFX) using X-ray free-electron laser (FEL) sources has the potential to determine the structures of macromolecules beyond the limitation of radiation damage and without the need for crystals of sufficient size for conventional crystallography. In SFX, a liquid microjet is used to inject randomly oriented crystals suspended in their storage solution into the FEL beam. Settling of crystals in the reservoir prior to the injection has been found to complicate the data collection. This article details the development of an anti-settling sample delivery instrument based on a rotating syringe pump, capable of producing flow rates and liquid pressures necessary for the operation of the injector. The device has been used successfully with crystals of different proteins, with crystal sizes smaller than 20 µm. Even after hours of continuous operation, no significant impairment of the experiments due to sample settling was observed. This article describes the working principle of the instrument and sets it in context with regard to the experimental conditions used for SFX. Hit rates for longer measuring periods are compared with and without the instrument operating. Two versions of the instrument have been developed, which both deliver sample at a constant flow rate but which differ in their minimum liquid flow rates and maximum pressures.

Supporting information


Portable Document Format (PDF) file
Supplementary information

Follow J. Appl. Cryst.
Sign up for e-alerts
Follow J. Appl. Cryst. on Twitter
Follow us on facebook
Sign up for RSS feeds