GCPCC News

 

October, 2015 — Motorized Alignment System Installed

A Marxy motorized sample alignment system was installed on the Mar dtb goniostat. Samples can now be aligned semi-automatically and repositioned remotely.

September, 2015 — Robot Transfered to CAMD

A Stanford Auto Mounter robot was transferred to CAMD and installed at the old PX beamline for commissioning. The robot software and hardware will have to be modified to work the the Mar dtb goniostat.

June, 2015 — Beamline Back on Line at MPW

The beamline was reinstalled on the centerline of the multipole wiggler fan and commissioned. The beamline has a new hutch and other improvements. The X-ray flux is much increased with the new source.

April, 2015 — Robot Funded

A grant was received from the Louisiana Board of Regents to partially fund a robotic sample mounting system. The robot will be a Stanford Auto Mounter (SAM) system on long-term loan from the Hauptman-Woodward Institute in Buffalo NY. A motorized alignment system will be installed on the Mar dtb goniostat.

June, 2013 — Mulitpole Wiggler Installed

The 11-pole 7.5 Tesla wiggler was received from the Budker Institute in Russia. A team from there assembled and installed the MPW. The wiggler functioned at the full designed field strength. A new dipole chamber was installed to accommodate the beamlines using the new wiggler.

April, 2013 — Beamline Relocation Started

The beamline was shutdown and the move to the new location was started. The beamline will be moved 90° around the ring to use light from the new multipole wiggler. New diagnostics will be installed to improve the alignment and focussing of of the x-rays.

November, 2009 -- Beamline is back on line

Following a month of ring conditioning and tests the GCPCC beamline became available to users again.

September, 2009 -- Wavelength Shifter is Reinstalled

The rebuilt single-pole wavelength Shifter was reinstalled, cooled to 4 K and tested. It passed all tests by signficant margins.

August, 2009 -- NSF Awards Grant for New Wiggler

The NSF has awarded LSU $1.26 M to purchase a new multipole wiggler for the hard X-ray beamlines at CAMD. The award was through the Major Research Instrumentaion Program and is the largest peer-reviewed equipment grant ever recieved by LSU. The PI is Prof. Marcia Newcomer in the LSU dept. of Biological Sciences. The new wiggler will increase the x-ray flux at the GCPCC beamline by 8-10 fold. We expect to recieve it in the summer of 2011 and we will use the rebuilt singe-pole system until then.

January, 2009 -- Wavelength Shifter Sent Back to Russia to be Rebuilt

The single pole wavelength Shifter that provides the x-rays for the GCPCC beamline was removed and sent back to the Budker Institute in Siberia to be rebuilt and fitted with mechanical coolers. The rebuilt wavelength Shifter will be more stable and will not require repleshisment of the liquid He used to cool the magent. CAMD is now paying about $120 k/year for liquid He so the rebuild will pay for itself in about 2 years. Unfortunately the beamline will be shut down until the wavelength shifter returns.

August, 2007 -- Biolab installed near beamline

A small biolab has been constructed adjacent to the beamline. The biolab is available for beamline staff and users to conduct crystallography related experiments. In addition to common lab equipment, the biolab also contains a CoyLab anaerobic chamber for the preparation of oxygen sensitive samples.

November, 2005 -- "FedEx" Program Initiated

Partly in response to the housing shortage caused by Hurricane Katrina we have initiated a program for mail-in data collection. Details are in the "User Information" page.

January, 2005 -- Cold Room Installed

A small 4° C cold room has been installed at the beamline. This cold room will be available for use by users of the beamline to store crystals or other supplies while working at the beamline. The cold room is part a the larger effort to build a small biolab that will enable structural biology research to be conducted on site at CAMD.

January, 2005 -- Multilayer Monochromator Installed

The new multilayer monochromator has been installed by Oxford Danfysik. In the coming months the monochromator will undergo commissioning by the beamline staff. During the commissioning process the beamline staff will explore the capabilities of the monochromator in order to better advise beamline users as to when use of the multilayer monochromator will benefit their experiments.

October 19, 2004 -- New Multilayer Monochromator Arrived

In order to provide higher flux for non-MAD data collection, we have purchased a new multilayer monochromator. The multilayer system will have a bandpass of about 0.5% compared to 0.02% for the present Si (111) monochromator. The higher bandpass is expected to produce a several fold increase in the X-ray flux of the beamline at the sample. The installation of the multilayer monochromator was designed such that it and the Si (111) monochromator can be rapidly interchanged depending on the requirements of the experiment. The present Si (111) monochromator will be used for MAD data collection and other experiments requiring the narrower bandpass, while the multilayer monochromator will be available for data collections where the higher flux is desired and when the wider bandpass would not adversely affect the experiment (for example single wavelength data collections).

October 1, 2004 -- Assistant Beamline Manager Hired

Dr. David Neau has been hired as the Assistant Beamline Manager. David comes from Jeff Bolin's lab at Purdue University where he recently completed his PhD in Structural Biology. In his role as Assistant Beamline Manager, David will help maintain and operate the GCPCC protein crystallography beamline, assist users at the beamline, and help facilitate access to the beamline by general users in order to fulfill the commitment of 25% general use.

January 7, 2003 -- Beamline Opened for User Operation

The GCPCC protein crystallography beamline is now open for user access. Groups wishing to schedule beam time at the beamline should contact the beamline staff. The current beam status and the schedule for the next several months can be found at http://www.lsu.edu/camd/beamlines/schedule.php. In general, the GCPCC beamline will be running whenever there is beam in the ring.

March 15, 2002 -- Detector Received and Installed

The MAR Research 165 mm dia. CCD detector and MAR Research dtb (desk top beamline) goniostat have been installed in the user hutch and tested with synchrotron radiation. The goniostat is highly automated and incorporates a 2-theta motion for high resolution data collection and a chi motion for mounting pre-frozen crystals directly from the cryovial. The CCD system features a low noise detector with 3.5 sec. readout time. For details see the MAR Research products web page.

February 15, 2002 -- First Light

Synchrotron light was brought down the beamline and into the user hutch for the first time. The beamline optical elements were aligned to the beam and the monochromator was calibrated. Tests showed that the bandpass of the monochromator light was narrow enough for MAD crystallography. Dr. Peter Siddons from the National Synchrotron Light Source came to CAMD to assist in commissioning the beamline optics.

July 9, 2001 -- Beamline Manager Hired

Dr. Henry Bellamy has been hired as the Beamline Manager, and will start in his new position at the end of September. Henry has been at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory (SSRL) since 1988, where he is in charge of beamline 1-5. SSRL beamline 1-5 is a MAD beamline like the new GCPCC protein crystallography beamline. He will supervise the completion of the experimental hutch and user area as well as the commissioning of the beamline and data collection equipment. Henry has a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from Washington University in St. Louis. His research interests involve the study of crystal perfection by means of high resolution reflection profile analysis.

January 21, 2000 -- Beamline Construction in Progress

After completing a detailed ray-tracing study of our beamline design, we developed bid specifications that would allow us to realize our optical design with a single vendor beamline solution. Prior to releasing the bid specifications, we solicited feedback from external scientists about our detailed beamline plans. The invitation to bid was released by the LSU purchasing department on December 20, 1999 and the bids were opened on January 19, 2000 . Oxford Instruments Accelerator Technology Group (now Oxford-Danfysik) was the successful bidder for the beamline. This order includes two 1.4 m long rhodium coated mirror systems, a channel-cut Si (111) monochromator, diagnostic screens, and beam defining apertures.

September 15, 1999 -- Funding Approval for Beamline Received

The National Science Foundation (NSF) Division of Biological Infrastructure (DBI) has awarded funding for the Gulf Coast Protein Crystallography Consortium's (GCPCC) beamline development. The National Institutes of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is also contributing to the project by providing matching funds through an interagency agreement with the NSF. Matching funds are also being provided by the institutions participating in the GCPCC. The NSF award number is DBI-9871464.