What do I need to do with my samples?

In order to handle all samples during beamtime we are using ISPyB and MXCuBE. Therefore please make sure to populate the ISPyB database in good time before your shift and please let us know of any issues during the process.

In order to ship dewars using courier, ISPyB is also used which standardizes the process and make necessary information and the status if the dewars tractable on-site.

Procedures for shipment

Please Note: You are responsible for organizing the courier for the transport to and from MAX IV.



Prior to beamtime

  • Register your samples in ISPyB.
  • Print the identification sheets from ISPyB (see next section) and set status to “Send to MAX IV”
  • Arrange courier shipment to and from MAX IV (please keep the return date open if possible as it depends on internal logistics).
  • If sending from outside EU, you need to fill in customs declarations using ProForma papers, see below.
  • Send the dewar with courier (or bring it with you to MAX IV)


At the day of beamtime

  • Papers for return has to be arranged before or at latest during beginning of beamtime:
    • ISPyB labels are used to identify the dewars and should be attached to dewar, one paper per dewar.
    • Courier papers with the return address and tracking numbers
    • Non-EU: Customs declaration Pro Forma paper
    • One set of papers per dewar/package

    If some papers have been lost, they can be printed at MAX IV reception.



After the beamtime

  • If needed, top up the dewar with LN2
  • Place the return address papers from your courier in the dewar in a red folder (provided by local contact) and attached the paper from ISPyB to the dewar(s)
  • Put dewar in the designated area outside BioMAX (“Dewar departure point”).
  • In case your return papers are missing or incomplete, locate your dewar at the designated outside area (“Dewars not yet ready for pickup”)

MAX IV staff will return the dewar normally within 1-3 working days after finishing your experiment. Please note that we can only handle shipments with complete information, to avoid costly mistakes, otherwise they might risking staying at MAX IV until papers have been completed. We do not keep track of long term halted dewars and cannot therefore take care for refilling of these dewars.



Outside EU shipment

If you are sending to and from outside EU and need customs declarations:

  • You need to fill in a Proforma invoice to send along with the shipment. This can be retrieved from your courier or from here: Pro Forma Invoice to MAX IV: customsDeclarationProForma_sendToMAXIV.pdf and Pro Forma Invoice from MAX IV: customsDeclarationProForma_returnFromMAXIV.pdf
  • Be sure to use a proper description of the content of the shipment, as an example: “Dry shipper containing small frozen protein crystals for scientific experiments. Crystals are non-hazardous. Dewar contains non-flammable gas (liquid N2).”
  • Value can not be 0, use a reasonable value.
  • The shipment address sheet from your courier and Proforma invoice need to be attached to the dewar(s)

ISPyB Manages your samples at BioMAX

Below is a summary of all steps needed:

You can bring the dewars yourself or ship by courier, in either case you need to create a “shipment” to register the samples in ISPyB.

  • Please log in with your MAX IV account (the same one used to log into DUO), select your role and proposal
  • If you have not done it already, please assign a contact person from your home laboratory as your “lab contact”
  • Create a shipment with all relevant shipping details. Please NOTE: there needs to be a shipment for your dewars even if you bring the dewars yourself
  • Add dewars, pucks and information about your samples to the data base. We strongly recommend to use the excel sheet.
  • print out documents and “send dewars” within ISPyB.
  • Let your courier pick up your shipment or bring the dewar yourself.