Fig. 1 View of the ID23-2 experimental hutch.

Fig. 1 View of the ID23-2 experimental hutch.

The microfocus ID23-2 beamline 

The ESRF and EMBL Grenoble have a strong tradition in improving the data collection possibilities from micro-crystals. These studies have led to the design and installation of a prototype MD1 on the ID13 microfocus beamline at the ESRF and the further development of this technology led to the hugely successful MD2 and MD3 family of commercially available diffractometers. The success of ID13 led to such a large oversubscription of applications from the Macromolecular Crystallography (MX) community that it was decided by EMBL Grenoble and ESRF to build a dedicated microfocus beamline. EMBL Grenoble has provided a beamline scientist for ID23-2 since its commissioning in 2005, and the current beamline scientist responsible is Max Nanao, a member of the Synchrotron Crystallography Team. It has been a huge success so far and has already contributed to over 500 publications, including over 220 in high impact factor journals and 14 g-protein coupled receptors. The availability of such a specialised microfocus beamline for the European MX community has opened up new and exciting opportunities in X-ray crystallography, such as the possibility of collecting data from ~5 μm3 crystals. This is especially true of very weakly diffracting crystals because of the significantly reduced background achieved with a micro-focused X-ray beam. The success of ID23-2 has resulted in many new and existing synchrotrons building specialised micro-focus beamlines (e.g. Diamond and Petra III in Europe and the SSRL and APS in the US).

ID23-2 is a fixed energy (14.20 keV, 0.873 Å) beamline that produces a focused beam of less than 10 µm in diameter (FWHM) in order to collect data from small crystals as well as complete datasets from needle crystals and other radiation sensitive crystals. The installation of a high precision EMBL Grenoble-designed MD2M diffractometer containing an X-ray beam visualisation system and a specialised beamstop with cleaning aperture has facilitated the use of ID23-2 for data collection on microcrystals. Recently, the control electronics were upgraded and a PILATUS3 2M detector was installed. These developments have allowed the implementation of fast X-ray diffraction based routines, including automatic X-ray based centering, optimised helical and multi-crystal modes of data collection to help mitigate against radiation damage in microcrystals.

ID23-2 will be upgraded in 2016 to provide a small (1 μm2) and intense (1x1012 phs/s) X-ray beam to ensure it remains at the forefront of micro-crystallography. The upgrade includes the installation of a new high-precision diffractometer (MD3-Up) and new-generation sample changer to facilitate the scientific potential of the new X-ray beam characteristics. The beamline will also serve as an excellent test bench for the development of new instrumentation and methods in preparation for harnessing the unique scientific potential of the X-ray beam characteristics from the ESRF-EBS upgrade.

ID23-2 is run as a collaboration between the EMBL Grenoble Synchrotron Crystallography Team and the ESRF Structural Biology Group. See the ID23-2 webpage for more information on the technical details and the ESRF website for application details.


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ID23-2 research highlights in 2015-2016

Neudegger, T., Verghese, J., Hayer-Hartl, M., Hartl, F. U., Bracher, A. (2016) Nat. Struct. Mol. Biol. (doi:10.1038/nsmb.3149)

Ma, P., Xue, Y., Coquelle, N., Haller, J. D., Yuwen, T., Ayala, I., Mikhailovskii, O., Willbold, D., Colletier, J. P. Skynnikov, N. R., Schanda, P. (2015) Nat. Commun. 6, 8361

Koch, S. C., Kuper, J., Gasteiger, K. L., Simon, N., Strasser, R., Eisen, D., Geiger, S., Schneider, S., Kisker, C., Carell, T. (2015) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., USA 112, 8272

Male, G., Von Appen, A., Glatt, S., Taylor, N. M. I., Cristovao, M., Groetsch, H., Beck, M., Muller, C. W. (2015) Nat. Commun. 6, 7387