Megahertz data collection from protein microcrystals at an X-ray free-electron laser

Marie Luise Grünbein, Johan Bielecki, Alexander Gorel, Miriam Stricker, Richard Bean, Marco Cammarata, Katerina Dörner, Lars Fröhlich, Elisabeth Hartmann, Steffen Hauf, Mario Hilpert, Yoonhee Kim, Marco Kloos, Romain Letrun, Marc Messerschmidt, Grant Mills, Gabriela Nass Kovacs, Marco Ramilli, Christopher M. Roome, Tokushi SatoMatthias Scholz, Michel Sliwa, Jolanta Sztuk-Dambietz, Martin Weik, Britta Weinhausen, Nasser Al-Qudami, Djelloul Boukhelef, Sandor Brockhauser, Wajid Ehsan, Moritz Emons, Sergey Esenov, Hans Fangohr, Alexander Kaukher, Thomas Kluyver, Max Lederer, Luis Maia, Maurizio Manetti, Thomas Michelat, Astrid Münnich, Florent Pallas, Guido Palmer, Gianpietro Previtali, Natascha Raab, Alessandro Silenzi, Janusz Szuba, Sandhya Venkatesan, Krzysztof Wrona, Jun Zhu, R. Bruce Doak, Robert L. Shoeman, Lutz Foucar, Jacques Philippe Colletier, Adrian P. Mancuso, Thomas R.M. Barends, Claudiu A. Stan, Ilme Schlichting

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Scopus citations


X-ray free-electron lasers (XFELs) enable novel experiments because of their high peak brilliance and femtosecond pulse duration. However, non-superconducting XFELs offer repetition rates of only 10–120 Hz, placing significant demands on beam time and sample consumption. We describe serial femtosecond crystallography experiments performed at the European XFEL, the first MHz repetition rate XFEL, delivering 1.128 MHz X-ray pulse trains at 10 Hz. Given the short spacing between pulses, damage caused by shock waves launched by one XFEL pulse on sample probed by subsequent pulses is a concern. To investigate this issue, we collected data from lysozyme microcrystals, exposed to a ~15 μm XFEL beam. Under these conditions, data quality is independent of whether the first or subsequent pulses of the train were used for data collection. We also analyzed a mixture of microcrystals of jack bean proteins, from which the structure of native, magnesium-containing concanavalin A was determined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3487
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Megahertz data collection from protein microcrystals at an X-ray free-electron laser'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this