Birkbeck College main page School of Crystallography

General Info Contact Contract Work Bookings Rules of Use Who's Who
Lab Manager Safety Structures Pictures of the Lab Current Users

Welcome to the Birkbeck X-ray laboratory homepage!

General Information about Birkbeck College's Xray Laboratory.

This page is designed to supply information about the X-ray and related facilities available to users of the X-ray laboratory, B16 formerly known as "Room L".

The X-ray laboratory has equipment for data collection from macromolecular diffraction experiments.

The Head of the laboratory is Ajit Basak. While the laboratory is managed and maintained by Martin Hunt however, any inquiries for internal/external contract work should be routed through our Business Fellow, Dr Clare Sansom

Ajit Basak, Head of Laboratory Martin Hunt, Lab manager

We have two safety enclosures, currently only one is in use. The second enclosure is home to a new (to us) RU-H2R Generator, passed into our care from University College London by the Ludwig Institute. They remain the property of the Ludwig Institute but we are now the carers for it. It is currently not in use as it needs to be recomissioned by Rigaku/MSC as it has been in storage for around 2 years.

X-ray enclosure #1 is equipped with:

  • A Rigaku RU-H3R rotating anode X-ray generator equipped with Osmic confocal mirrors.
  • A 300mm Mar image plate running on a Silicon Graphics workstation.
  • A 700 series Oxford Cryosystems Cryostream cooler, 80-400K stable to 0.1 degrees Kelvin.
  • An ES-60 Liquid Nitrogen dewar capable of supplying the Cryostream for 3 days continuous running.
  • A heated Goniometer head to help prevent icing of crystal samples.
  • A Nikon microscope for mounting crystals.


X-ray enclosure #2 will be equipped with:

  • A Rigaku RU-H2R rotating anode X-ray generator equipped with Yale optics.
  • A 300mm Mar image plate running on a Silicon Graphics workstation.
  • A 600 series Oxford Cryosystems Cryostream cooler, 80-375K stable to 0.1 degrees Kelvin.
  • An ES-60 Liquid Nitrogen dewar capable of supplying the Cryostream for 3 days continuous running.
  • A heated Goniometer head to help prevent icing of crystal samples.
  • A Leica microscope for mounting crystals.


The X-ray laboratory safety setup comprises:

  • Two 2 door interlocked Class 4 safety enclosures designed by Dr Huub Driessen.
  • Three Oxygen level monitors. One in each enclosure and one in the main area for maximum safety.
  • Two 900 series Mini Monitor scintillation counters. Calibrated to the 9KeV wavelength.


Other equipment currently in the X-ray laboratory:

  • A dedicated PC for the storage and processing of industrial contract work data.
  • A Spare 600 series Cryostream Cooler plus all anciliaries.
  • Two Liquid Nitrogen bowls for sample handling.
  • Three 20XT Liquid Nitrogen storage dewars.
  • A Zeiss Axiophot microscope.
  • Two Oxford Cryosystems AD51 dry air units.
  • Two ES60 Liquid Nitrogen vessels (non pressurised).
  • A BPC PowerOn UPS for saving of crystals and data in the event of a power cut.
  • A Perkin Elmer crystallisation robot