Photon Factory
Tsukuba, Japan
In-house Automounter

BL-17A is a new beam line for protein crystallographic experiments at the Photon Factory. The high brilliance beam derived from the new short-gap undulator, SGU#17 offers unique possibilities for protein crystallographic experiments at the Photon Factory including micro-crystal structure analysis and structure determination using softer Xrays. The extremely small beam size of the short-gap undulator source, together with advances in X-ray optics, allows outstanding performance at modest cost even with 2nd generation synchrotron facility. 1

Automated Systems at PF BL-17A:

For efficient use of beam time via fully automated experiments and remote control, we have installed the protein crystal exchange system PAM at all the macromolecular crystallography beamlines at the PF. PAM consists of a four-axis industrial robot and its controller (same series as the SAM), double tongs, a force-torque sensor and a commercial liquid-nitrogen Dewar 3K from Taylor Wharton. The industrial robot and the Dewar are fixed tightly to a frame. The force-torque sensor is connected between the z-axis of the robot and the double tongs, and is used for detecting collisions and calibrating the cassette stand within the Dewar. The cassette stand is inserted into the Dewar, and it is fixed weakly by pushing the Dewar wall by the screw heads attached on the side of the top and the bottom plates of the cassette stand. The protein crystals captured by cryoloops are stored in the SSRL cassette or the Universal V1-puck (Uni-puck). The SSRL cassettes and the Uni-puck can hold 96 and 16 cryoloops, respectively. There are three cassette locations within the liquid-nitrogen Dewar of the PAM for the SSRL cassette or an adapter cassette containing four Uni-pucks. Therefore, the capacity of the cryoloops is 288 samples.2


Yusuke Yamada


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

Recommended Accepted*
Puck Style Uni-PuckSSRL
Mount/Loop Style Any
Rod Length 18mm/SPINE
Base Style B1A-ReusableB1-RB3-RB3S-R
 *Preparation of Cryo Pin. Retrieved December 2, 2013.

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:
    • 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