CrystFEL: A software suite for snapshot serial crystallography

Thomas A. White, Richard Kirian, Andrew V. Martin, Andrew Aquila, Karol Nass, Anton Barty, Henry N. Chapman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

375 Scopus citations


In order to address the specific needs of the emerging technique of serial femtosecond crystallography, in which structural information is obtained from small crystals illuminated by an X-ray free-electron laser, a new software suite has been created. The constituent programs deal with viewing, indexing, integrating, merging and evaluating the quality of the data, and also simulating patterns. The specific challenges addressed chiefly concern the indexing and integration of large numbers of diffraction patterns in an automated manner, and so the software is designed to be fast and to make use of multi-core hardware. Other constituent programs deal with the merging and scaling of large numbers of intensities from randomly oriented snapshot diffraction patterns. The suite uses a generalized representation of a detector to ease the use of more complicated geometries than those familiar in conventional crystallography. The suite is written in C with supporting Perl and shell scripts, and is available as source code under version 3 or later of the GNU General Public License.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)335-341
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Applied Crystallography
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 9 2012


  • CrystFEL
  • computer programs
  • data processing
  • protein crystallography
  • serial femtosecond crystallography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'CrystFEL: A software suite for snapshot serial crystallography'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this