Preparing Samples for XRD at NSLS-II

Data collection at the NSLS-II is incredibly fast. Ensure smooth data collection by properly preparing your samples using the materials and instructions below.


AMX (17-ID-1) Highly Automated Macromolecular Crystallography

The Highly Automated Macromolecular Crystallography Beamline (AMX) at NSLS II is a highly automated macromolecular crystallography beamline with best in class flux among the mini-beam lines.

FMX (17-ID-2) Frontier Microfocusing Macromolecular Crystallography

The Frontier Macromolecular Crystallography Beamline (FMX) at NSLS II is an undulator beamline for structural biology investigations with micro-focusing macro¬molecular crystallography (MX), optimized for challenging bio-crystallographic problems. Its flux density is unmatched by MX facilities world-wide.

Loops, Mounts, & Meshes


MiTeGen's entire line of crystal mounts and loops that are optimized for harvesting amd XRD are accepted at the AMX and FMX beamlines.

Learn which Mount best suits your Crystals

Goniometer Bases (Caps)


SPINE Standard Bases (MiTeGen B5 or Reusable B5-R) are required for use with the sample placement robot at AMX and FMX.

Learn About Reusable SPINE (B5-R) Bases



IMPORTANT: Use ONLY MiTeGen Brand Loops and Mounts with Reusable Bases.

Do not use with loops/pins from other suppliers.

**MiTeGen Reusable Bases are designed to be used with pins of a specific diameter. Using MiTeGen Reusable Bases with pins from other suppliers can lead to sample movement or loss.**

For optimum performance and maximum usable life of your reusable bases, we recommend the following procedures:

  1. Make sure the bases are at room temperature. Attempting to insert or remove sample mounts immediately after removal from cryogenic storage can damage the gripping element.
  2. Make sure that all parts are clean and dry. Moisture, oils or lubricants will decrease the gripping strength.
  3. Grip the crystal mount’s stainless steel rod firmly using heavy-duty serrated-end tweezers. These minimize rod slip and twisting during insertion and removal.
  4. Insert the stainless steel rod straight down into the center of the post. Avoid tilting the rod to the side or inserting at an angle.
  5. The rod should insert smoothly without excessive force. If insertion is difficult or the grip is not secure, remove the pin and repeat steps 1-3. Do not force the steel rod into the base.
  6. Be certain the rod is fully inserted to the bottom of the base. Heavy-duty serrated-end tweezers should be used to help push the rods to the bottom.
  7. Although these bases are reusable, the will eventually wear out, and may be damaged by improper use. 

If you cannot obtain a secure grip, either dispose of the base or use epoxy or glue (as with a conventional base.) Do not send loosely held samples to the synchrotron.


AVOID these mistakes

Common mistakes we have seen made, by NSLS II visitors using reusable bases are:

  1. Using other brands mounts or loops in MiTeGen bases. Use only with MiTeGen brand mounts. The dimensional tolerances required for proper functioning are only ensured when using MiTeGen brand mounts. Using other brands of mounts or loops has led to sample loss for a number of our users.
  2. Not gripping the pin correctly for proper and full insertion. Use the serrated tweezers recommended by MiTeGen. Users who have not used effective insertion tools, have had trouble ensuring pins were firmly seated within the reusable bases.
  3. Not fully inserting the mount or loop into the base. The pin that holds your MiTeGen Loop or Mount should be inserted all the way to the bottom of the reusable base. Failure to insert fully can lead to loss of samples.

Learn About MiTeGen's Reusable Bases

Quickly assemble loops into caps for crystal harvesting, without using glue or waiting for epoxy to dry.
  • Save Time and Costs

    Eliminate time spent glueing loops into bases

  • Robot Compatible Style

    Design compatible with NSLS II automated beamline sample placement robots

  • Cryogenic and Room Temperature Use

    The bases grip the loops securely at both cryogenic and room temperture

You no longer need to spend time gluing crystal mount/loop pins into your goniometer bases (“caps”) before harvesting your crystals. Gluing and removing glue can be time consuming and messy. Once glued, the loop and base must be used as a single unit. If the loop fails or becomes bent, both loop and base become unusable. If the glue fails during automated handling, the loop and pin can fall out and jam the automounter.