The microfocus ID23-2 beamline

The ESRF and EMBL Grenoble have a strong tradition in improving the data collection possibilities from micro-crystals. These studies have led to the design and installation of a prototype MD1 on the ID13 microfocus beamline at the ESRF.The further development of this technology led to the hugely successful MD2 and MD3 family of commercially available diffractometers.

ID23-2 is a dedicated microfocus beamline for macromolecular crystallography, the first such beamline in the world, and EMBL Grenoble has provided support for ID23-2 since user operation started in 2005. The current EMBL co-responsible beamline scientist is Shibom Basu, a member of the Synchrotron Crystallography Team.

ID23-2 underwent a major upgrade in 2017 to provide high intensity X-rays with a beamsize of 4 or 10 µm2 for the most challenging structural biology projects. In order to accurately measure diffraction data from micro sized crystals in micron sized beams a high precision MD3-Up diffractometer, the first instrument of its kind, was specially developed by EMBL. ID23-2 is also equipped with an EMBL-ESRF developed FlexHCD sample changer and PILATUS3 2M X-ray detector.

The success of ID23-2 has resulted in many new and existing synchrotrons building specialised micro-focus beamlines (e.g. Diamond and MaxLabIV in Europe and NSLS-II and APS in the US). It has been a huge success and the availability of such a specialised microfocus beamline for the European Macromolecular Crystallography (MX) community has opened up new and exciting opportunities in X-ray crystallography, such as the possibility of collecting data from ~5 μm3 crystals.

ID23-2 returned to user operation in August 2020 following the ESRF Extremely Brilliant Source (EBS) upgrade with exceptional X-ray characteristics to ensure it will remain at the forefront of micro-crystallography. The beamline continues to drive optimised data collection from micro-crystals and will serve as a test bench for the development of such methods to ensure the unique scientific potential of the new SSX beamline under construction on ID29 can be realised. ID23-2 is run as a collaboration between the EMBL Grenoble Synchrotron Crystallography Team and the ESRF Structural Biology Group.

ID23-2 is run as a collaboration between the EMBL-Grenoble Synchrotron Crystallography Team and the ESRF Structural Biology Group. See the ID23-2 webpage for more information on the technical details and the ESRF website for application details.

lab equipment
View of the ID23-2 experimental hutch

Reference publications

Flot, D., Mairs, T., Giraud, T., Guijarro, M., Lesourd, M., Rey, V., van Brussel, D., Morawe, C., Borel, C., Hignette, O., Chavanne, J., Nurizzo, D., McSweeney, S., Mitchell, E. (2010) J. Synchrotron Rad. 17, 107-118.

EMBL Grenoble collaborates with the Structural Biology group at the ESRF (European Synchrotron Radiation Facility) in the design, construction, operation and development of synchrotron beamlines for macromolecular crystallography (MX) and small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS).