Central information page for the implementation of the Cryogenic Radio Frequency Identification system.
The CryoRFID consortium have been created by EMBL Grenoble Instrumentation group in order to bring together the manufacturers of CryoRFID equipped devices and to centralise the attribution of Manufacturer IDs and Device Type codes.
The consortium is today composed by the following members:
To join the consortium or to request for the attribution of new Manufacturer IDs and Device Type codes please Contact us.
The memory of the CryoRFID tag is organized in 52 pages. One page can store 4 bytes (32 bits) and ASCII encoding (4 characters/page) was choosen for the programming of the RFID tags.
The pages are devided in three main domains:
Device UID (Page 0 and Page 1)
Device Type Code (Page 2)
User Field ( Page 3 to Page 51 )
The Device UID has been defined to avoid duplicated IDs between different manufacturers. It is composed of 8 alphanumerical characters. Only six characters are used, the last two being reserved for future extension.
The first letter of the Device UID is the manufacturer ID. It is attributed according to the Manufacturer Ids table here after. It is up to each manufacturer to follow up on the distribution of the remaining 5 characters, to ensure unique IDs in its production.The Device UID is stored in the memory Pages 0 and 1 of the RFID chip that contain 8 characters in total. Space characters (ASCII character: 32 decimal base, 20 hexadecimal base) should complete the 6 UID characters to reach a total of 8 characters.
Example for the device UID “AX123A” we have to write “AX123A ” into the chip.
A X 1 2
0x41 0x58 0x31 0x32
0x33 0x41 0x20 0x20
Device UID example
Molecular Dimensions Ltd
Reserved for internal tests
Device Type Code
The device type allows automated handling systems to recognize a device, e.g. in MX, the different pucks that fit in the same Dewar slot. The device type is stored in the memory page 2 of the RFID chip, which contains 4 characters in total. The currently available device type codes are summerized in the table Device Type Codes.
Example: For an SC3 puck , the code “MX0 “ has to be written to the page 2 of the RFID tag
M X 0
0x4D 0x58 0x30 0x20
Device Type ID example
Device Type Codes
Device Type Code
Cryo-EM puck (MiTeGen design)
Cryo-EM puck (Subangstrom design)
Device Type Codes
The used field can be used for any purpose. It starts on Page 3 and ends on Page 51.
On the table below we show an encoding example:
Device UID: AX123A
Manufacturer ID: A
Serial number: X123A
Device Type Code: MX0 (uni-puck)
User Field: ANY TEXT
To help the widespreading of the CryoRFID identification technology the EMBL Grenoble Instrumentation Team has created the easy to use, easy to integrate CryoRFID reader/writer device. This device permits to read and write the cryoresistant RFID tags respecting the above described protocol. There are various accessories to adapt the reader to different device types (a couple of examples on the following pictures). The CryoRFID reader runs a web interface accessible from a simple browser (no software installation required). Furthermore it also runs a low level socket server permitting to integrate it into bigger systems using machine to machine communication.
The CryoRFID reader/writer can be updated in order to support new manufacturer IDs ans device type IDs. In order to keep a coherence over these different codes and avoid duplicates, the latest configuration files of the devices are availables exclusively on this website.
To proceed to the update of your device please download the latest configuration package from the list below and upload it to your CryoRFID reader device
The NewPin BioStruct-X wrap-up meeting was held on February 2nd, 2016 in Lisbon:Participants: Bessy-II, CEA-IBS/FIP, DIAMOND, EMBL Grenoble, EMBL Hamburg, ESRF, MAX IV, NSLSII, SLS, Irelec-Alcen,MiTeGen, Molecular Dimensions, NatX-ray, Rigaku.
Feedback from the miniSPINE evaluation kits was compiled and the design of the miniSPINE Pins and Pucks will be revised accordingly. Updated specifications will be issued in Q2 2016. Pilot testing sites have been identified for equipment from 2017 onwards with the support of Irelec-Aclen and NatX-Ray. Intent for orders from interested sites will be collected by MiTeGen and Molecular Dimensions to fix the price of the first batches of Pucks and Pins.
October 2016: The Photon Factory has joined the NewPin project.
In 2009 a feasibility study for a new sample holder standard with high sample storage density and precise sample positioning was launched at the EMBL Grenoble. Since 2011 the project has been supported by the European FP7 program BioStruct-X under the name NewPin (http://www.biostruct-x.eu). Led by the EMBL Grenoble outstation the project numbers six synchrotron partners: DLS, ESRF, EMBL@PETRA-III, HZB-BESSY II, the MAX IV Laboratory and SLS. NewPin is also supported by the US synchrotron NSLS-II and by European and American companies active in the field of consumables and robotics (MiTeGen, Molecular Dimensions, Irelec and Arinax).
Two sample holder models named NewPin and miniSPINE were initially proposed. Both allow the storage of 36 samples in pucks with a uni-puck style footprint. A robot gripper that acts as a cold buffer can manipulate both the miniSPINE and NewPin sample holders.
A puck and a robot gripper compatible with the SPINE sample holders (SPINEplus) have also been defined to facilitate the migration from SPINE to miniSPINE and NewPin.
The miniSPINE model has been selected for the medium scale evaluation of the new standard as it is easier to integrate into beamlines. miniSPINE Evaluation Kits were proposed to evaluate the manual use of the miniSPINE sample holders.
The NewPin model will offer high precision sample positioning and the possibility to increase storage density to 64 pins per puck (fully robotic handling only). The pins will be optionally identified with RFID transponders (under development). The NewPin model will be further evaluated in a second round.
Details of former developments are available here.
The standard defines the main dimensions of the sample holder base and associated puck and identification schemes.
miniSPINE sample holder (Pin) base
The miniSPINE Pin base is a 7 mm diameter ferromagnetic support with 1.9 mm diameter gripping area. The basic Pin model is compatible with 0.65 mm diameter cryo-mounts. The dimensions of the Pin base make the miniSPINE Pin compatible with Spine-compatible goniometer setups. See goniometer mounts. The miniSPINE Pin bases can be identified with a Datamatrix ID.
Different versions of the miniSPINE Pin base allow:
A fixed angular orientation of the base
A specific harvesting tool
Integrated RFID trarsponders (under development)
Holds up to 36 miniSPINE Pins. uni-puck style footprint for compatibility with sample changers that accept uni-puck pucks (Requires specific Dewar slots). Compatible with CX100 transport Dewars. Preliminary information (pdf).
A puck for Robot direct data collection is under development (DDC puck).
2D ECC200 Datamatrix code, 12 x 12 dots, 10 digits
Format: 0000000000 → 9999999999
First digit = manufacturer ID (0→9)
Digits 2-10: Unique number (000000000-999999999)
2D ECC200 Datamatrix code, 12 x 12 dots, 6 alphanumeric
Format AA0000 → ZZ9999
First letter = manufacturer ID (A→Z)
Second letter and four digits: Unique code (A0000-Z9999)
To avoid duplicates the first character of the codes identifies the manufacturer. It is up to the manufacturers to ensure unique IDs within their production.
Manufacturer ID Letter
Manufacturer ID Number
EMBL (For development purpose)
Last website updates:
28 Apr 2020, 11:43:23 CEST: Correcting synthax used for uni-pucks 24 Jan 2018, 14:38:11 CEST: New miniSPINE puck filling assistant 13 Oct 2017, 08:45:00 CEST: Full access no longer requires login; Preliminary information PDFs on miniSPINE pins and pucks updated 20 Oct 2016, 15:03:10 CEST: Full access requires login. For mor information, please contact email@example.com 22 Aug 2016, 15:18:11 CEST: Minor updates 17 Mar 2016, 11:43:16 CEST: Last News, BioStruct-X Wrap-up meeting 07 Mar 2016, 16:28:32 CEST: New versions of miniSPINE pin and puck; Update of the evaluation feedback log