European Synchrotron Radiation Facility
Grenoble, France
FlexHCD Automounter

The MASSIF (Massively Automated Sample Selection Integrated Facility) suite of beam lines comprises three individual end-stations, MASSIF-1, MASSIF-2 and MASSIF-3, all located at the first branch of ID30. All three beam lines run at a fixed photon energy slightly above the selenium absorption edge.

The third endstation MASSIF-3, in user operation since December 2014, offers a small X-ray beam (15 μm diameter) at a fixed energy (12.8 keV), and is dedicated to perform experiments with very small protein crystals. MASSIF-3 is equipped with a Eiger X 4M and a mini-diffractomer and a SC3 sample changer.

The optical design of MASSIF-3 makes use of a horizontally diffraction Si (111) monochromator, and compound refractive lenses (CRLs) and a half-Kirkpatrick-Baez (KB) geometry as the vertical and horizontal focusing systems, respectively. The X-ray sources for the three stations are canted undulators mounted on a special carriage on the storage ring. The MASSIF-3 undulator is a U21.2. It is a pseudo-monochromatic source with a single first harmonic at 12.9 keV. An overview of the setup of the optical and experimental hutches can be found here. 1

Automated Systems at MASSIF-3:

FlexHCD is a versatile, high performance, sample changer system designed to be used in automatized synchrotron beamlines to handle biological crystallized samples at cryogenic temperatures. It allows the users to automatically transfer samples from the High Capacity Dewar to the diffractometer and back. It is based on a 6-axes robotic arm and a high capacity dewar. FlexHCD has been developed by the EMBL Diffraction Instrumentation Group in collaboration with ESRF.


Igor Melinkov

Christoph Mueller-Dieckmann


We recommend the following tools for their compatibility and ease-of-use.

Recommended Accepted*
Puck Style SPINE, Unipucks
Mount/Loop Style Any
Rod Length 18mm/SPINE
Base Style B5-R

Sample Preparation Kits

Convenient kits of compatible assemblies of MiTeGen recommended products Beamline Sample Preparation Kits are available in 3 aperture size assortments based on your crystal sizes and include:

  • Assemblies of 100 Crystal Mounts, on 18 mm pins, available in the following assortment:Mitegen B5-R Reusable Base
    • 20 x Dual-Thickness MicroLoops ™ LD  (5 each of 10, 20, 30 and 50 μm aperture sizes)
    • 40 x Dual-Thickness MicroMount ™ (10 each of 75, 100, 150 and 200 μm aperture sizes)
    • 20 x Dual-Thickness MicroLoops ™  (5 each of 300, 400, 500 and 600 μm aperture sizes)
    • 20 x MicroMeshes ™  (5 each of 10, 25, 50 and 25L μm aperture sizes)
  • Installed in 100 B5-R reusable bases or 100 regular bases
  • Packaged and stored in 5 MiTeGen base holders

Uni-puck Starter Kit 2 includes:

  • (7) Universal V-1 Pucks
  • (1) Double Puck Loading Dewar with Lid
  • (1) Puck Wand
  • (1) Puck Dewar Loading Tool
  • (1) Puck Separator Tools
  • (1) Shelved Puck Shipping Cane
  • (1) Bent Cryo-Tong
  • (1) Cryo Express Dry Shipper (CX100)
  • (1) Shipping case for CX100

*custom kits are available, contact MiTeGen with specific requests.

Order Beamline Kits