A highly automated beamline for the fully automatic collection of data from crystals of macromolecules
Status:  open


  • Life Sciences


  • Macromolecular crystallography

Energy range

  • 12.65 - 12.65  keV

Beam size

  • Minimum (H x V) : 10.0 x 10.0  µm²
  • Maximum (H x V) : 100.0 x 65.0  µm²



Technical details

MASSIF1 is a unique facility for the high throughput, fully automatic characterisation and data collection of crystals of macromolecules. The new service is not designed to replace user visits to the synchrotron but rather to do the hard work of screening crystals or collecting data sets through the night, freeing researchers to spend time on more challenging data collection problems and study the underlying biology.

Beam time is booked flexibly and samples then enter a queuing system, users interact with the beamline by describing experimental requirements, that are used by the beamline software to set data collection parameters, in a database, ISPyB, where results are viewed and downloaded as well. The service is made possible by RoboDiff – a new ESRF-developed sample changer that also acts as a goniometer –, a highly intense X-ray beam (3 x 1012 ph/sec in 100 x 50 µm2) and complex workflows that fully evaluate samples, centre the best volumes and collect diffraction data sets optimised for maximum resolution with minimised radiation damage.