The introduction of pixel array detectors (PADs) for macromolecular crystallography at synchrotron beam lines offers an exceptional opportunity for creative applications with potential for breakthrough discoveries. PADs are generally considered to be the near-term replacement for CCD-based detectors at third generation synchrotron beam lines. Each pixel of the PAD module constitutes an independent single-photon counting system, comprising a p-n diode silicon sensor indium bump bonded to a radiation-hardened CMOS readout unit. PADs have many advantages compared to the current generation of detectors. Unlike CCD-based detectors, PADs have no readout noise and will results in improved signal-to-noise. In addition PADs have much higher dynamic range and much higher readout speed compared to CCD detectors. The fast readout speed (3.5 ms) offers the possibility of shutterless data collection, which will increase data collection throughput by one to two orders of magnitude. It will also allow for micro-phi-slicing, which will improve data scaling and merging resulting from detailed analysis of crystal mosaicity. The advantages are particularly important for microdiffraction, which is one of our major areas of emphasis. We propose to acquire a PILTAUS 6M PAD, the first commercially available PAD suitable for macromolecular crystallography at synchrotron beam lines. The PILATUS detector will be installed at the Northeast Collaborative Access Team (NE-CAT) beam line 24-ID-C at the Advanced Photon Source. NE-CAT is funded by NCRR as a national user facility and serves a diverse group of investigators. There is a clear need for the PILATUS 6M PAD. During the past year more than 50 NIH-funded PIs used our facilities on multiple visits, resulting in many important new findings. The PILATUS detector will further enhance our capabilities and facilitate a broad range of current and future NIH-funded projects.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Center for Research Resources (NCRR)
Biomedical Research Support Shared Instrumentation Grants (S10)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-BCMB-S (30))
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Levy, Abraham
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Cornell University
Schools of Arts and Sciences
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