X-ray equipment
X-ray equipment

Rigaku is the leading provider of home laboratory X-ray equipment for protein and macromolecular crystallography, including: fully integrated home lab systems, automated crystallization equipment, area detectors, X-ray generators and optics, software, as well as crystal cryocooling and automation robots.

A statistical analysis of X-ray crystal structures submitted to the Protein Data Bank (PDB) showed that structures solved with Rigaku home laboratory X-ray generators comprised 17% of all submitted structures for 2005, the latest year of complete data. Of structures solved with home lab sources that year, 89% were done using Rigaku equipment.

The data conclusively demonstrate that Rigaku structural biology customers are collectively the most productive, far exceeding the nearest competitor in the home lab market.

Area detectors for protein crystallography

Basic operation of a
2D CCD detector

Rapid data collection for macromolecular crystallographic applications has become a priority for both home laboratory and synchrotron environments. To meet that need, two competitive technologies have emerged: charge coupled device (CCD) based area X-ray detectors and multiple image plate (IP) based large area X-ray detectors. While CCD detectors are often considered first when rapid data acquisition is required, new high-throughput imaging plate detectors now provide an alternative while preserving the unique characteristics that make IPs often desirable for weakly diffracting applications and where maximum experimental versatility is needed.

CCD detectors—fast data collection and most efficient screening
Rigaku internally designs and manufacturers a line of third generation CCD detectors that are optimized for protein crystallography. Rigaku is the only fully integrated X-ray instrument manufacturer to internally design and manufacture CCD detectors. All systems employ the most advanced Kodak® CCD chip with indium tin oxide (ITO) technology for superior sensitivity. Both CCD detectors use a large format sensor that is optimized for high dynamic range and superior spatial resolution:

Saturn 944+ with advanced ITO technology and 18-bit readout
Saturn A200 high dynamic range large area 2x2 array detector
Image Plate Detectors—maximum experimental versatility
IP detectors, the general purpose workhorses of protein crystallography, employ a film-like radiation image sensor comprised of specifically designed phosphors that trap and store X-ray radiation energy. The technology utilizes the "photostimulated luminescence" (PSL) phenomenon in which energy from X-ray photons impinging on the image plate are stored and stable until scanned with a laser beam during a read operation.

View a slide presentation to learn how Rigaku X-ray area detectors work as well as how they can enhance the performance of your crystallography laboratory.

Large apertures, high spatial resolution, lack of image distortion, and broad dynamic range (nearly six orders of magnitude) all provide appeal for the macromolecular crystallographer. Very low and constant background noise make IP X-ray detectors exceptionally desirable where long exposures are required. Rigaku is the only supplier of multi-plate IP detector systems:

R-AXIS IV++ industry standard dual IP detector
R-AXIS HTC with 3 image plates for high-throughput applications

IP versus CCD
While both detectors provide excellent performance, CCDs are optimal for data collection of well diffracting crystals as well as rapid screening of crystals prior to a synchrotron trip. Image plate X-ray detectors, on the other hand, afford maximum experimental flexibility - allowing about anything that can be done with a CCD (albeit not as fast) but also the collection of very long exposures on poorly diffracting crystals. Many labs like to have one of each type to maximize their capabilities and find having both an IP and CCD detector is central to their success.

An integral part of all Rigaku detector systems is advanced software. Data collection is provided by StructureStudio™ and CrystalClear™, which includes d*TREK®. For data processing, HKL-2000® supports all Rigaku detectors.

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