Scientific Instrument SPB/SFX

The Single Particles, Clusters, and Biomolecules & Serial Femtosecond Crystallography (SPB/SFX) instrument of the European XFEL is primarily concerned with three-dimensional diffractive imaging, and three-dimensional structure determination, of micrometre-scale and smaller objects, at atomic or near-atomic resolution.

A particular emphasis is placed on biological objects—including crystals of macromolecules and macromolecular complexes as well as viruses, organelles, and cells—though the instrument will also be capable of investigating non-biological samples using similar techniques. Furthermore, the SPB/SFX instrument aims to study structural dynamics in these biological systems on the millisecond to femtosecond timescale.

The SPB/SFX instrument consists of two experiment endstations (upstream and downstream), based on the combined contributions of European XFEL and the Serial Femtosecond Crystallography (SFX) user consortium.

Click here for full instrument parameters for Run 4 of Early User Experiments, scheduled for the second half of 2019.

Key (expected) features
Electron bunch charge
50–1000 pC
Photon energy range
3–16 keV (upstream), 6–16 keV (downstream), up to 25 keV (3rd harmonic)
0.1% (SASE bandwidth, no monochromator installed)
Pulse energy
Up to 4 mJ (depending on photon energy)
Pulse duration
5–300 fs (depending on photon energy and bunch charge
linear (horizontal)
Focus size
~1 µm or ~0.1 µm upstream, 1 µm downstream
X-ray optics
upstream interaction region: micro-focus KB mirror system, nano-focus KB mirror system (photon energy range: 3–16 keV, best 5–16 keV)

downstream interaction region: compound refractive lenses (photon energy range: 6–16 keV, best 8–16 keV)
Sample delivery
fixed-target stage system, liquid/aerosol/gas injection systems
AGIPD 1 Mpx (upstream), AGIPD 4 Mpx (downstream)
fundamental wavelenghts 800nm (15 fs pulse duration and 1030 nm (500 ps, after compression 850 fs) available, conversion to visible and UV via OPA/SHG/THG/FHG possible, pulse energy µJ–mJ (depending on repetition rate)