X-Ray Instrumentation 2017-08-24T13:18:25+00:00

NYX Beamline

The department is completing a microdiffraction undulator beamline, called NYX, at the National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLS-II, a replacement for the NSLS), which will begin operations in 2016. The beamline will allow smaller crystal size, higher energy resolution, and a greater degree of automation than NYSBC’s previous beamlines (X4A and X4C). The improved instrumentation, combined with the 10,000-fold increase in X-ray brightness possible at the new synchrotron, will greatly expand our ability to determine protein structures, making experiments that are currently impossible seem almost routine.


  • High energy resolution down to ΔE/E = 5 x 10-5 without loss of intrinsic spectral flux. Capable of exploring the sharp absorption edges for challenging de novo structural analysis by MAD/SAD phasing; crystallographic experiments for element identification.
  • Microdiffraction at the level of 5-50 μm beam cross section, focused full-beam strength (> 1013photons/sec/5μ). Capable of using micron-sized samples, in particular for macromolecular complexes and membrane proteins.
  • X-ray energy coverage from 3.5-17.5 keV. Capable of anomalous diffraction experiments from uranium MV (3.6 keV) to LIII (17.2 keV) edge, covering K, Ca and 31 most commonly used heavy atoms for MAD/SAD phasing. Enhanced anomalous signals from remote K resonance for light atoms including Na, Mg, P, S and Cl for SAD phasing.
  • High-throughput with a custom ADSC pixel array detector, a cryogenic sample changer and with use of multiple crystals. Capable of automated crystal evaluation, data collection and structure determination.

In-house Facility

NYSBC maintains a modern rotating-anode X-ray source at its main facility in Manhattan, equipped with fast CCD X-ray detectors, cryosystems, and computational resources. This facility is used by NYSBC staff to support collaborative research projects, as a pre-screening step before taking crystals to NYSBC’s beamline, and for direct X-ray data collection. Many of the crystal structures solved by NYSBC staff in the last few years relied exclusively on this system.