Canadian Macromolecular Crystallography Facility

News and Updates

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Beamline Updates

  • Spring Maintenance Image

    Beamline Update: Spring Maintenance

    Posted on March 05, 2019
    The CLS will be in scheduled maintenance mode during the March – May period with normal operations expected during the summer months of June – September 2019. CMCF will be taking advantage of this opportunity to advance a number of beamline upgrades. CMCF-BM will receive a double-multilayer monochromator (DMM) upgrade. The goal is to add a fixed-energy high-flux mode to the beamline, while maintaining the beamline’s current capabilities. SAD/MAD experiments requiring energy changes will still make use of the original optics, while the high-flux mode will allow native data collection at fixed energy with pink-beam (0.45% ΔE/E), having an approximate order of magnitude higher flux. The SAM automounter will also undergo a software upgrade with the goal of improving sample change times. CMCF-ID will see the installation of a replacement goniometer with the goal of improving the sample position stability and sphere of confusion. The CMCF-ID DCM will undergo repairs to fix issues with the sagittal bender that resulted in lower flux during the last run. We expect that CMCF-ID will be operating normally during the June – September period. The CMCF-BM upgrade is expected to be complete near the end of June, with normal operations resuming by July.

  • Updated Data Collection Interface! Image

    Beamline Update: Updated Data Collection Interface!

    Posted on December 18, 2017
    CMCF Users will notice a change in the CMCF data acquisition software, MxDC. MxDC now has additional features, including automatic customizable directory creation, improved automatic crystal centering, vector data collection and improved in-app data analysis for Mx experiments as well as XAS, EXAFS and powder diffraction. For a description of the changes and new features, please visit the MxDC page!

  • ISARA Sample Changer Commissioned Image

    Beamline Update: ISARA Sample Changer Commissioned

    Posted on December 12, 2017
    We are happy to announce that the first session of data collection using the newly-installed IRELEC ISARA sample changer on beamline CMCF-ID occurred on November 30, 2017. Dr. Trevor Moraes and colleagues from the University of Toronto were the first to put the new capabilities to the test during a remote data collection session. This upgrade follows on the heels of the installation of a new Pilatus detector and, together, these components allow much higher sample throughput on CMCF-ID. The new sample changer on CMCF-ID now accepts Uni-Pucks only. There is no change to the sample changer on the CMCF-BM beamline which hosts the SAM sample changer. Please visit the Samples & Automounters page in the User Guide for more details about the sample changers and compatible containers for each beamline.

  • MxLIVE Update Image

    Beamline Update: MxLIVE Update

    Posted on December 12, 2017
    MxLIVE (Mx Laboratory Information Virtual Environment) is the CMCF Laboratory Information Management System that helps your lab organize samples, shipments and experiment information. It serves to integrate your lab with data collection at CMCF beamlines and allows effective use of the sample automounters through the MxDC data collection software. MxLIVE is used in conjunction with MxDC so members of your team can easily check on the progress of experiments taking place at the beamlines and download datasets as they are collected. CMCF Users will notice recent updates to MxLIVE, including streamlined sample information entry that does not rely on spreadsheets, along with new data management options. After logging in, Users will be presented with a brief outline of the new features, which can also be found on the MxLIVE User Guide Page.

  • First Data Collected with Pilatus Detector! Image

    Beamline Update: First Data Collected with Pilatus Detector!

    Posted on May 09, 2017
    We are excited to announce that  the new Pilatus3 S 6M detector has been installed and commissioned for use on beamline 08ID-1 beginning in May 2017. To complement the new detector, the computing and storage infrastructure has also been upgraded. One EMC Unity storage server with 40 TB of all flash user space, and three Dell PowerEdge R830 high performance computing nodes with 336 total threads have been installed, all on a new 10 Gbps fibre optic network. For additional information about using the Pilatus detector, please visit the data collection section of our User Guide.

  • New Pilatus detector delivered Image

    Beamline Update: New Pilatus detector delivered

    Posted on December 14, 2016
    CMCF is pleased to announce that a key component of the beamlines upgrade project was delivered this month. The PILATUS3 S Series (6M) detector, which will allow low-noise shutter-less data collection arrived in December. The new detector will be installed on beamline 08ID-1 during the 2017 spring maintenance shutdown, and used for data collection beginning in May 2017. Here, the detector is shown in operation, with the monitor displaying x-rays detected from a test Fe-55 source.

  • Update on Beamline Upgrades Image

    Beamline Update: Update on Beamline Upgrades

    Posted on October 12, 2016
    The needs of the crystallography community continue to advance. To this end, several exciting upgrades are being implemented at the CMCF with the support of the Beamline Advisory Team. The ultimate goals are higher flux on both beamlines, micro-beam capabilities as well as much faster data collection and sample transfer times in order to meet tomorrow’s new challenges. We are pleased to announce that, as an initial phase, two major components have been approved for beamline 08ID-1. The first is a PILATUS3 S Series (6M) detector, which will allow low-noise shutter-less data collection. The new detector will be installed during the 2017 spring maintenance shutdown, and used for data collection beginning in May 2017. The second is an IRELEC ISARA sample changer, which is expected to be ready for operations on beamline 08ID-1 beginning in late fall 2017. The kickoff planning meeting for the new sample changer occurred today. It will enable samples to be changed in under 20 seconds, and expands the range of currently supported bases to include spine pins loaded in standard Uni-pucks. Installation of components will be performed, as much as possible, during maintenance periods to minimize the impact on User beamtime at the CMCF. Although there will be short periods of time where the beamline is needed for optimization and testing, the impact is expected to be minimal, with beamline 08B1-1 operating continuously during these periods.

  • Planned Maintenance on Beamline 08ID-1 Image

    Beamline Update: Planned Maintenance on Beamline 08ID-1

    Posted on March 14, 2016
    An intermittent vacuum leak in the double crystal monochromator chambre has been detected on beamline 08ID-1. To prevent any serious problems, the cause will be investigated during the period of March 20 - 27. During this time, beamline 08ID-1 will be in maintenance mode. Beamline 08B1-1 will still be available for experiments. We do not anticipate any negative effects on data collection outside of the planned maintenance period.

  • Detector Maintenance Complete Image

    Beamline Update: Detector Maintenance Complete

    Posted on August 25, 2015
    Regularly-scheduled maintenance of the MAR CCD detectors on both CMCF beamlines has been completed. Beamlines are returning to normal operations. Beamline 08B1-1 will once again be using the MAR 300 HE detector and beamline 08ID-1, the MAR 300 detector.

  • Detector Maintenance Begins Image

    Beamline Update: Detector Maintenance Begins

    Posted on August 17, 2015
    Regularly-scheduled maintenance of the MAR CCD detectors on both CMCF beamlines will be taking place this week (August 17 to 23). Beamline operations are expected to return to normal August 25, 2015.

  • Detector Update for 08B1-1 Image

    Beamline Update: Detector Update for 08B1-1

    Posted on July 23, 2015
    While the Mar 300HE CCD X-ray detector on beamline 08B1-1 undergoes maintenance, the Mar 225 CCD detector has been temporarily put in place. This will allow the beamline to operate during the detector maintenance. The regular detector is expected to be returned to service this fall.

  • 08ID-1 Sees First Remote Users Image

    Beamline Update: 08ID-1 Sees First Remote Users

    Posted on May 24, 2013
    The Canadian Macromolecular Crystallography Facility (CMCF) is excited to announce that the first session of Remote data collection on beamline 08ID-1 occurred this week on May 23. Dr. Wolfram Tempel and colleagues from the Structural Genomics Consortium (SGC) in Toronto were the first to put the Remote Control capabilities of this highly-productive Canadian Light Source crystallography beamline to the test. This mode of operation allows researchers to collect data as though they were present at the beamline without leaving their home laboratories, thereby saving costs associated with travel and making data collection extremely efficient. The researchers shipped their samples in standard containers which were loaded into the robotic automounter by beamline staff. Using a freely-available software client installed on their laboratory computers, the research team was able to connect to the beamline through a secure encrypted channel in order to perform their experiments with minimal intervention by staff. This new capability follows on the heels of beamline 08B1-1, which has had Remote Control capabilities in place since 2011. Remote Control is now available on both CMCF beamlines to Users with active proposals, after completing appropriate training. Users wishing to use this capability should contact beamline staff to discuss their project.

  • MiniKappa axis on beamline 08B1-1 Image

    Beamline Update: MiniKappa axis on beamline 08B1-1

    Posted on April 07, 2011
    The miniKappa goniometer head has been installed on beamline 08B1-1. Previously, rotation was only possible about the omega-axis during data collection. Additional orientations for crystals are now possible with the miniKappa axis. This is especially useful for samples having smaller unit cells or where precise orientation of the crystal axes is important. Users can control this axis through the MXDC data collection software's Beamline Setup tab. Note that beamline 08ID-1 remains in the traditional configuration with rotation about the omega-axis only.

  • Beamline 08ID-1 Upgraded Image

    Beamline Update: Beamline 08ID-1 Upgraded

    Posted on December 14, 2010
    The 08ID-1 endstation has been upgraded and includes an on-axis visualization system and mini-beam apparatus. For standard use, the 100 micron beam size has an approximate flux of 2E12 photons per second. In January, characterization will proceed with smaller 50 micron, and eventually 20 micron beam sizes. The beamline is now available to users. Automounter testing with the new endstation is progressing well but the automounter is not yet available for general users. For now, users who wish to use an automounter may contact staff about using the beamline 08B1-1 automounter. For further details, more images and instructions about collecting data with the new 08ID-1 endstation, please visit the following website.

  • Beamline Update: Beamline 08ID-1 Upgrade

    Posted on November 04, 2010
    The upgrade of the 08ID-1 endstation is proceeding. Commisioning will continue through November and the beamline is anticipated to be ready for users near the end of November.

  • Automounter Now Available on Beamline 08B1-1 Image

    Beamline Update: Automounter Now Available on Beamline 08B1-1

    Posted on November 04, 2010
    We are pleased to announce that the installation and testing of the automounter on beamline 08B1-1 has been completed and that it is now available for users. Please contact beamline staff to make arrangements for using the automounter and for additional information.  The Stanford Automated Mounting System (SAM) accepts SSRL-style cassettes or Uni-Pucks. Sample pins should be Hampton-style CrystalCap Copper Magnetic pins or CrystalCap Magnetic pins, the 18 mm size being preferred. Note that spine pins cannot be used. Click here for more information on pins.  

  • Beamline Update: Humidity Control Device Available

    Posted on November 04, 2010
    The hydration level of your crystals can have an impact on their diffraction quality. The HC1 humidity control device is now available for use at beamline 08B1-1. The instrument allows you to control the relative humidity surrounding a mounted crystal through the delivery of a precisely callibrated air stream. If you are interested in using the HC1, please discuss your experiment with beamline staff. For more information on the device and its possible applications,please visit the User Guide.

  • Xenon Chamber available Image

    Beamline Update: Xenon Chamber available

    Posted on June 01, 2008
    Xenon is a noble gas, which binds to specific sites in a biological macromolecule and can therefore be used to form heavy atom derivatives for structure determination. The Xenon Chamber is a simple yet effective device designed to pressurize loop-mounted biological macromolecular crystals in the presence of xenon gas at room temperature. Crystals mounted in loops such as the CrystalCap system are placed into the Xenon Chamber. Once sealed, the chamber is pressurized with xenon gas so that the crystal and macromolecules are equilibrated in a vapor saturated xenon atmosphere. Following depressurization of the chamber, the loop-mounted crystal is simply lifted and slid along the Xenon Chamber track and quickly lowered into a dewar for freezing in liquid nitrogen or propane. Users wishing to operate this equipment should contact the beamline staff for operating instructions and training.