Industry News: Rigaku allies with JEOL to develop an integrated MicroED platform

03 Jun 2020


Rigaku has entered into an agreement with JEOL for the joint development of a MicroED platform to solve the structures of sub-micron crystals using electron crystallography.

Single crystal X-ray crystallography has long been the primary technique used to determine the 3D molecular structure of inorganic, organic and protein molecules. Rigaku’s latest HPC detector and advancements in X-ray source brilliance have reduced the minimum measurable crystal size to the order of a few microns. However, it is often the case that the crystals that researchers can obtain of new materials are smaller than 100 nm. These nanoscale crystals have traditionally been out of the scope of X-ray crystallography.

Recently, electron crystallography, typically called MicroED, has been in the spotlight as a method to address the need to measure increasingly small nanoscale crystals. The strong matter interactions  provided by electrons offer the potential to study these smaller samples. Electron crystallography has a long history, but it has not been commonly used because of the severe radiation damage it causes to organic and protein molecules. The HPC detector addresses this issue with its excellent sensitivity and extremely low noise characteristics, reducing the required exposure to electrons to the level where sample decay can be ignored.

Rigaku has long been at the forefront of advanced analytical X-ray instrumentation and JEOL is a leading company in the field of electron microscopy.  Both companies are market leaders in their respective industries.  The scope of the joint development includes integration of Rigaku’s high-speed, high-sensitivity HPC detector and state-of-the-art CrysAlisPro structure analysis software platform with JEOL’s high-performance transmission electron microscope technology. The resulting system will provide researchers with a completely integrated solution for performing MicroED experiments. Rigaku and JEOL will synergistically contribute to the scientific research frontier through the introduction of an easy-to-use MicroED platform that greatly reduces the crystalline sample size necessary for 3D structure determination.

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