MicroMAX will be a microfocus beamline for macromolecular crystallography. It will be flexible both in terms of X-ray performance and possiblities at experimental setup in terms of sample delivery systems. It will be possible both to collect oscillation data and single image serial crystallography data. The design and performance of the beamline is defined by the possibilities to collect:

  • high-quality data from microcrystals,
  • data at room-temperature,
  • time-resolved data in the milli- and microsecond time scales.

MicroMAX Science Case

The field of structural biology has benefited tremendously by structure determinations at synchrotron radiation sources and typically a large fraction of the users and publications at these facilities come from the field of macromolecular crystallography (MX). At MAX IV the BioMAX beamline is the only MX beamline in operation. BioMAX covers a wide range of applications within MX and will be the workhorse MX beamline at MAX IV.

MicroMAX will open new possibilities within the field of macromolecular crystallography by 1) providing an X-ray beam with properties that are presently not available elsewhere in the world and 2) by combining this with new experimental methods that are presently being developed at many X-ray free electron lasers (XFELs) and synchrotron radiation facilities. The aim of these new experimental methods is to most efficiently collect the best data from a large number of crystals since these demanding projects with microcrystals inherently will need many crystals to record full datasets due to e.g. radiation damage and sample heterogeneity. These methods are commonly referred to as “serial crystallography”. MicroMAX will thus widen the scope of MX to difficult targets such as membrane proteins for which microcrystals are commonly the only obtained crystal form.

As there is rapid development of serial crystallography and in particular new sample delivery systems, MicroMAX must be flexible to take future developments into account. In addition, since it is likely that different sample delivery methods will be optimal for different experiments, it is important to offer a choice. Therefore, the experimental station will include setups for both standard rotational data collection and also for new sample delivery methods such as chips, jet-driven sample delivery, micro-fluidics, acoustics and more. The rotational data collection setup can also be used for samples suitable for BioMAX and in this way MicroMAX is a complement to BioMAX.

MicroMAX will with its performance also give better opportunities for fast room-temperature data collection, especially using the serial approaches. We envision that this will lead to a future development of time-resolved methods.