Recent Major Improvements to the ALS Sector 5 MacromolecularCrystallography Beamlines

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Although the Advanced Light Source (ALS) was initially conceived primarily as a low energy (1.9GeV) 3rd generation source of VUV and soft x-ray radiation it was realized very early in the development of the facility that a multipole wiggler source coupled with high quality, (brightness preserving), optics would result in a beamline whose performance across the optimal energy range (5-15keV) for macromolecular crystallography (MX) would be comparable to, or even exceed, that of many existing crystallography beamlines at higher energy facilities. Hence, starting in 1996, a suite of three beamlines, branching off a single wiggler source, was constructed, which together ... continued below

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Morton, Simon A.; Glossinger, James; Smith-Baumann, Alexis; McKean, John P.; Trame, Christine; Dickert, Jeff et al. July 1, 2007.

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Although the Advanced Light Source (ALS) was initially conceived primarily as a low energy (1.9GeV) 3rd generation source of VUV and soft x-ray radiation it was realized very early in the development of the facility that a multipole wiggler source coupled with high quality, (brightness preserving), optics would result in a beamline whose performance across the optimal energy range (5-15keV) for macromolecular crystallography (MX) would be comparable to, or even exceed, that of many existing crystallography beamlines at higher energy facilities. Hence, starting in 1996, a suite of three beamlines, branching off a single wiggler source, was constructed, which together formed the ALS Macromolecular Crystallography Facility. From the outset this facility was designed to cater equally to the needs of both academic and industrial users with a heavy emphasis placed on the development and introduction of high throughput crystallographic tools, techniques, and facilities--such as large area CCD detectors, robotic sample handling and automounting facilities, a service crystallography program, and a tightly integrated, centralized, and highly automated beamline control environment for users. This facility was immediately successful, with the primary Multiwavelength Anomalous Diffraction beamline (5.0.2) in particular rapidly becoming one of the foremost crystallographic facilities in the US--responsible for structures such as the 70S ribosome. This success in-turn triggered enormous growth of the ALS macromolecular crystallography community and spurred the development of five additional ALS MX beamlines all utilizing the newly developed superconducting bending magnets ('superbends') as sources. However in the years since the original Sector 5.0 beamlines were built the performance demands of macromolecular crystallography users have become ever more exacting; with growing emphasis placed on studying larger complexes, more difficult structures, weakly diffracting or smaller crystals, and on more rapidly screening larger numbers of candidate crystals; all of these requirements translate directly into a pressing need for increased flux, a tighter beam focus and faster detectors. With these growing demands in mind a major program of beamline and detector upgrades was initiated in 2004 with the goal of dramatically enhancing all aspects of beamline performance. Approximately $3 million in funding from diverse sources including NIH, LBL, the ALS, and the industrial and academic members of the beamline Participating Research Team (PRT), has been employed to develop and install new high performance beamline optics and to purchase the latest generation of CCD detectors. This project, which reached fruition in early 2007, has now fulfilled all of its original goals--boosting the flux on all three beamlines by up to 20-fold--with a commensurate reduction in exposure and data acquisition times for users. The performance of the Sector 5.0 beamlines is now comparable to that of the latest generation ALS superbend beamlines and, in the case of beamline 5.0.2, even surpasses it by a considerable margin. Indeed, the present performance of this beamline is now, once again, comparable to that envisioned for many MX beamlines planned or under construction on newer or higher energy machines.

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  • Journal Name: Synchrotron Radiation News; Journal Volume: 20; Journal Issue: 4; Related Information: Journal Publication Date: 2007

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  • Report No.: LBNL/PUB--983
  • Grant Number: DE-AC02-05CH11231
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 929659
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc899711

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  • July 1, 2007

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  • Sept. 27, 2016, 1:39 a.m.

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  • Sept. 30, 2016, 12:43 p.m.

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Morton, Simon A.; Glossinger, James; Smith-Baumann, Alexis; McKean, John P.; Trame, Christine; Dickert, Jeff et al. Recent Major Improvements to the ALS Sector 5 MacromolecularCrystallography Beamlines, article, July 1, 2007; Berkeley, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc899711/: accessed August 16, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.