MicroMAX will open up new possibilities in the area of structural biology making it possible to study proteins in 3D and to follow them in time. MicroMAX will allow studying the molecules that are most interesting but most difficult to study such as membrane proteins and molecular complexes. This will be achieved by providing a very small but parallel and intense X-ray beam and by making it possible to use new methods of presenting the samples to the X-ray beam. The technique used is called X-ray crystallography: by making a crystal of the protein that we would like to study, illuminating it with an X-ray beam and recording the scattered X-rays it is possible to obtain a 3D-model of the protein.

The science of structural biology studies structures of biological molecules with the goal to understand how biology works on a molecular level. The function of these molecules is determined by their structure, and since most functions in for example our cells is carried out by these molecules it is fundamental to understanding life.

MicroMAX is expected to be in user operation in 2022.

MicroMAX has been funded by the Novo Nordisk Foundation.

Contact Info: Thomas Ursby

Techniques Macromolecular Serial Crystallography with a wide range of sample delivery systems, time-resolved studies
Beam Size Tunable between below 1 μm up to 10 μm (FWHM, horizontal and vertical)
Energy Range 5–30 keV (0.4 –2.5 Å)
Time Scales Down to microseconds
Samples Microcrystals of biological molecules


MicroMAX is on its way

Building a beamline is a very long and intricate project going from discussions in the research community, funding, designing, procuring, building, installations, commissioning and finally opening for regular users. It takes at least five years from idea to realisation. Sometimes even more than a decade. MicroMAX was funded in 2018, by Novo Nordisk Fonden, but