Our first visit of TPS-07A

We went to the TPS 07A on October 20th. Our first time using the best X-ray beamline in Taiwan!

[Image source: NSRRC website]

The Taiwan Photon Synchrotron (TPS) is the 3rd generation of light source supported by the Taiwan government and is located in the National Synchrotron Radiation Research Center (NSRRC), Hsinchu, Taiwan. The 3.5-GeV beam is one of the brightest light synchrotrons in the world [Reference] and has been open to researchers worldwide since 2016.

There are two beamlines named 05A and 07A currently serving for the crystallographic studies in biomedicine and biology. A beamline 13A providing light source for the biological samples using small-angle X-ray scattering (BioSAXS) began the service in early 2021. We had been in the 05A beamline station more than 10 times in the past 4 years but the 07A beamline station is a brand new one beginning its service in July, 2022.

On October 20, Roy, Johnson and I went to the TPS, NSRRC to experience the powerful micro-focus synchrotron beam on the 07A station. It was the first access of my group using it and we were superb exciting about it. The tunable beam size, real-time data process in the background, and fast data collection were amazing. The beam size can be as small as 10 µM which is very suitable for tiny crystals. We also learned that the new electron detector is very efficient. It collected 1 image within 0.008- 0.02 seconds, meaning less than 10 seconds of 360 images (0.5˚ oscillation angle). Indexing diffraction spots and space group are automatically executed in the background thus users can focus on the strategy of data collection such as helical data collection or rastering the single-crystal area in a “multi-layer” flat-like crystal.

The current robot sample changer of 07A is unavailable as the COVID-19 pandemic limited the engineers entering Taiwan for the assembly and performance tests. we were told the installation of the robot sample changer will be done in the coming maintenance and users will be in love with the unbelievable efficiency of “sample switch + data collection“. More than 300 crystal datasets are soon expected to be collected within 24 hours with advanced automatic settings in the 07A beamline station.

Come to join us to experience the powerful structural biology tools in Taiwan and explore the mystery of the protein world related to critical cellular functions and disease-associated.