Sealed Tube, X-ray Source, SC-XRD
Turbo X-ray-source, single crystal X-ray diffraction
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METALJET, sc-xrd, Liquid Metal Jet X-ray Source

Riding the Perfect Wave

Selecting the right wavelength for your sample can significantly improve the quality of the experiment

xray wavelength suitability
X-ray Wavelength suitability

Chemical crystallography

Molybdenum (Mo) radiation is most often the wavelength of choice for chemical crystallography and is most widely used for structure determination of a wide variety of samples. One of the reasons for Mo-radiation’s popularity is modern area detectors can cover reciprocal space to atomic resolution with just one detector setting for fast and convenient data acquisition.

Copper (Cu) radiation’s stronger interaction with the sample leads to stronger diffracted intensities. Bruker pioneered sophisticated data collection strategy software and initiated the renaissance of Cu-radiation for weakly diffracting organic molecules and absolute-configuration experiments.

Silver (Ag) radiation, even shorter in wavelength than Mo-radiation, has the benefits of lowest absorption and extinction effects, and allows data collection to higher resolution. Only with Bruker’s introduction of high-intensity Ag microfocus sources has the application of Ag-radiation become practical.

Indium (In) radiation is the shortest wavelength available for the home laboratory—exclusively from the METALJET source. Indium is an exciting new option for demanding experiments in solid-state chemistry, or high pressure and charge density research. Gallium (Ga) radiation is exclusive to the METALJET source. Like Cu radiation, Ga is ideal for weakly-diffracting organic samples and the determination of the absolute configuration.

Structural biology

Copper (Cu) radiation – 1.54 Å – is the most popular wavelength for macromolecular crystallography in the home-lab. X-rays at this wavelength provided by our IμS interact strongly with the light atoms in biological molecules and provide efficient diffraction. At Cu radiation’s wavelength sulfur and other common scatterers provide an anomalous signal for in-house SAD phasing.

The gallium (Ga) emission line (1.34 Å) is near that of Cu for maintaining the proven benefits of Cu-Kα radiation but adds a number of advantages, such as reduced radiation damage, increased data collection efficiency, reduced X-ray absorption by the sample, and reduced scattering by both mother liquor and air.

X-ray sources

Molybdenum X-ray sources in the D8 QUEST and the D8 VENTURE are either available as a fine focus sealed tube with the optional TRIUMPH monochromator, or as an air-cooled IμS microfocus tube with HELIOS multilayer optics. Copper and Silver X-ray sources are available as air-cooled IμS microfocus sources with multilayer optics.