BioSAXS beamline P12 of the EMBL at PETRA III uses a high brilliance X-ray beam with low scattering background and energy tunability. The beamline is optimized for solution scattering experiments on biological macromolecules and allows for highly automated robotic operation, kinetic experiments with millisecond time resolution and anomalous SAXS experiments on biologically relevant metals.
The combination of tunable X-ray wavelength, an ultrahigh photon flux and Dectris 2D photon counting detectors (Pilatus 6M and Eiger 4M) allows for a resolution range from about 1000 to 0.5 nm. Larger studies with many samples at P12 become handier with its robotic operation, in which the exposures are taken in frames of 50 milliseconds. The data is then automatically collected and processed with a SASFLOW pipeline calculating overall parameters and, when appropriate, particle shapes on-the-fly.
The beamline is devoted to study the overall structures and conformational changes of proteins, nucleic acids, lipids, macromolecular complexes, polymers in solution and in bulk, nanoparticles and other nanostructured systems.