NSLS-II Beamlines FMX/AMX for Macromolecular Crystallography

Two NSLS-II beamlines for macromolecular crystallography are starting general user operation in 2017. The two beamlines, FMX and AMX, were funded by NIH and built by the NSLS-II at the Brookhaven National Laboratory.

Depiction of apparatus for FMX and AMX beamlines.

FMX beamline has been constructed to be a micro-focusing beamline fully taking advantage of the high-brightness qualities of NSLS-II. The objectives are to produce a tunable X-ray beam that can be focused down to 1 x 1 µm2 size with low divergence; and to function as a beamline for the most difficult projects in macromolecular crystallography. The beamline will eventually support serial crystallography, where a full dataset can be obtained from hundreds or thousands of microcrystals. The IVU21 undulator at FMX provides X-rays over a wide energy range (5-30 keV). The X-ray optics is expected to produce bright, tunable beams in a size range of 1-20 µm, and consists of Si(111) double crystal monochromator, a secondary source design, and a pair of K-B focusing mirrors in the experimental hutch. A beam size of 1 x 1 µm2 with photon flux at the sample position of 5 x 1012 ph/s is expected based on the design. This flux compares favorably with the performance of established leading micro-focusing beamlines in the world. The experimental endstation is equipped with an Eiger16M detector and advanced crystal handling/mounting robotics device. FMX will support room temperature in situ crystal screening and data collection in 96-well plates. 

Photograph of the apparatus for FMX and AMX beamlines.

AMX is a mini-focusing, highly automated and high-throughput beamline. The objectives of AMX include supporting challenging projects that require screening of thousands of crystals, such as structural studies of membrane proteins and drug screening projects. Data collection on every crystal brought to the beamline will be possible, as each dataset will only require a few seconds to finish. The beamline design includes an IVU21 undulator covering an energy range of 5-18 keV, a Si(111) double crystal monochromator, and a pair of K-B focusing mirrors in the experimental hutch. It is expected to deliver a photon flux of ~1013 ph/s in a beam size range of 4 - 100 µm. The end station initially includes a Pilatus 6M detector and has been upgraded with an Eiger9M detector.  AMX has similar advanced crystal handling robotics as in FMX.

FMX and AMX beamlines start general user operation in the first cycle of 2017. Here are links to the beamline webpages (, and The CSB has obtained a Partner User Agreement for FMX/AMX with the NSLS-II to assist in commissioning and operation of the two beamlines. As part of this agreement, a fixed percentage of the available beamtime (equally distributed at FMX and AMX) will be allocated to CSB, all of which will be returned to general users through the NSLS-II General User Program. Contact Wuxian Shi for details.