Rolling proposals for the SAXS P12 beamtime are no longer being accepted due to overbooking. However, user groups may still apply for P12 via iNEXT using mail-in or enhanced support modes.

Please direct any enquiries to

EMBL Hamburg operates a synchrotron beamline P12 for small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) at the PETRA III storage ring, under the  coordination of Dmitri Svergun.

P12 is an undulator beamline utilising the wavelength range between 0.6 and 3 Å. The beamline is optimised for low background data collection from macromolecular solutions and kinetic experiments with high temporal resolution. The endstation is equipped with photon counting Pilatus detectors and with a robotic sample changer. P12 allows for fully automated and remote data acquisition and processing using the Beamline Meta Server software.

Access to the beamline P12 is available to all research groups, and is prioritised on scientific grounds only. Project proposals for beamline access are evaluated by the Project Evaluation Committee (PEC).

Further enquiries may be made to

Scientists in charge
Dmitri Svergun
Tel: +49 40 89902-125
Clément Blanchet
Tel: +49 40 89902-192
Small angle X-ray scattering beamline P12
Tel: +49 40 89902-312
Experimental possibilities
  • SAXS experiments on macromolecules ranging from a few kDa to GDa
  • Time resolved measurements and temperature scans
  • High throughput data collection using an automated liquid handling sample changer
  • Online FPLC and biophysical characterization of the sample (Malvern)
  • A stopped flow device (BioLogic)
  • Sample holders for solutions, gels, films, powders
  • Resolution range: 2000 to 10 Å
  • Typical exposure time: 1 s
  • Remote operation mode using a NoMachine server
Synchrotron source Standard Petra U29 undulator
Monochromator Oxford double crystal monochromator, crystal Si (111)
Mirror KB bimorph adaptative mirrors, Rh (-coated) and SiO3 (uncoated)
Acquisition system Beckhoff Twincat, TINE
Wavelength 0.06 – 0.3 nm
Focal spot 0.2 mm x 0.12 mm
Flux 1013 ph/s
Slits 4*2 pairs: two sets of Cinel water cooled slits, defining and guard slits: four individually motorized blades of Hybrid Scatterless in a module from Xenocs
Automated sample changer 2 x 96 wells (crystallization plates)
4 x 8 samples (200 µl PCR stripes) + 12 buffers (1.5 ml Eppendorf tubes)
temperature controlled storage (5-55°C)
Exposure unit Quartz capillary, automated filling and rinsing, temperature controlled (5-55°C). Filling volume: 5 µl (10 µl for radiation sensitive samples)
In-air cell 100 µl, mica windows, manual filling and rinsing – for viscous and solid samples temperature controlled (0-80°C)
Detectors Photon counting Pilatus 2M pixel detector (253 x 288 mm2), Pilatus 1M-W detector (423.6 x 70 mm2), Pilatus 300k-W detector (254 x 33.5 mm2)
Sample-detector distance Tunable: 1.6 to 6.1 m