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T-REXX: a new endstation for serial time-resolved crystallography
David von Setten
EMBL operates two beamlines (P13 and P14) for macromolecular
crystallography at the PETRA-III synchrotron. A second endstation
(‘P14.EH2’, ‘T-REXX’) for serial time-resolved crystallography is in
operation in a second hutch at the far end of P14 since October 2018.
For this endstation, the P14 X-ray beam is refocussed with a compound
refractive lens (CRL) transfocator to provide a 15x10 μm2 beam with a
flux of about 2e12 photons/s at 12.7 keV. To be able to accommodate
different microcrystal sample delivery systems suitable for serial
crystallography, T-REXX is not equipped with a goniometer, but instead
with a beam shaping device (BSD) that provides an on-axis viewer, beam
shaping apertures, a fully motorized beamstop, and a scintillator for
visualisation of the X-ray beam. For time-resolved pump/probe
experiments, a laser system (355 nm) for initiating reactions is built
into the setup, such that the laser and X-ray beams are almost parallel
at the sample position, which facilitates alignment of the beams using
the on-axis viewer. First experiments have yielded promising results
using different sample delivery systems, such as microfluidic flow cells
as well as patterned silicon chips (Mehrabi et al., Nature Methods 16,
979 (2019)). In the future, the Hadamard technique (Yorke et al., Nature
Methods 11, 1131 (2014)) will be employed to reach sub-millisecond
timescales in time-resolved experiments, either by gating the detector
or alternatively by modulating the X-ray beam.