Posted in | X-ray Detectors

PILATUS3 R Series from Dectris

The PILATUS3 R Hybrid Photon Counting detectors available from Dectris have been designed to accomplish supreme data quality in X-ray detection. These detectors combine two major technologies: single-photon counting and hybrid pixel technology.

The PILATUS3 R series brings all the benefits of hybrid photon counting technology to the laboratory.

PILATUS3 R for Laboratory MX

Measuring weak high-resolution reflections with high precision determines map quality and gradually gives the required success in macromolecular crystallography. The signal-to-noise ratio of weak reflections is much better due to the absence of detector noise in the PILATUS3 detectors and the sharp point-spread operation, which decreases overlap of diffraction intensities with scattering background. Fine-slicing steps can be applied to improve the data quality by reducing background overlap along the direction of rotation and decreasing spot overlaps. The PILATUS detectors promote optimal fine-slicing, whereas CMOS or CCD active pixel detectors need compromises due to readout or reset noise.

Beam stability is important for experimental phasing and is a component in which the in-house tool can outperform synchrotron beamlines. Users can increase this benefit by matching the home source with a PILATUS3 R. The integration of a highly stable home source with a noise-free, high-sensitivity detector will enhance the success in S-SAD and other experimental phasing techniques for which data precision is essential.

The readout time of PILATUS3 R detectors is only 7ms for full images, thereby enabling shutterless data acquisition in continuous rotation. This also helps to decrease total acquisition times and increase efficiency, which is an important advantage in high-throughput applications such as fragment screening. Additionally, continuous rotation data collection helps in collecting fine-sliced data sets with the same acquisition times as wide sliced data.

The new PILATUS3 R 1M with its large active area of 169x179mm serves as a perfect upgrade path for traditional imaging plate and CCD detectors. It is ideal in all laboratory applications such as screening for optimal crystallisation conditions to efficient ligand screening and complex experimental phasing.

PILATUS3 R for Laboratory SAXS

The PILATUS3 R detectors are ideal for in-house SAXS instrumentation because of their high sensitivity, high dynamic range, absence of readout noise and dark current, and greater stability. Measurement of weak signals at high q-ranges requires long exposure times. With the full absence of dark current, the PILATUS3 detectors provide excellent data for long exposure times. When using the PILATUS3 R in the laboratory, its high detection stability allows the determination and subtraction of solvent scattering with very good precision even in the case of very long exposure times. This exceptional stability is due to the integration of highly stable water-cooling and single-photon counting in hybrid pixel technology.

The performance of all PILATUS3 detectors in precisely measuring weak signals allows customers to succeed when handling with diluted samples. The combination of SAXS with size-exclusion chromatography is a powerful technique for studying transient complexes, degradation or aggregation prone units, and multiple oligomerization states. The PILATUS3 detector enhances the feasibility of testing diluted samples in the laboratory. Additionally, the low readout time and high frame rates akkows finely sampled data gathering over the course of protein elution while increasing acquisition time.

Fine-sampling of data collection over long total exposure times is very useful in traditional SAXS experiments, as it reveals valuable information regarding radiation damage during data acquisition. A noise-free PILATUS3 detector enables the feasibility of analyzing diluted samples in the laboratory.

Fine φ-slicing with PILATUS. Each data set was collected at 0.1 °/s in only 30 minutes with rotation width and exposure time per image as indicated in the legend. Excellent data are obtained with short acquisition times. Exploiting fine-sliced data collection with a noise-free PILATUS leads to optimal data quality as indicated by the improvement of Rmerge and I/sigma(I) for decreasing oscillation angle. (Insulin, 180° total rotation, microfocus sealed-tube, PILATUS 300K)

Figure 1: Fine φ-slicing with PILATUS. Each data set was collected at 0.1 °/s in only 30 minutes with rotation width and exposure time per image as indicated in the legend. Excellent data are obtained with short acquisition times. Exploiting fine-sliced data collection with a noise-free PILATUS leads to optimal data quality as indicated by the improvement of Rmerge and I/sigma(I) for decreasing oscillation angle. (Insulin, 180° total rotation, microfocus sealed-tube, PILATUS 300K).

Key Features

The main features of the PILATUS3 R hybrid photon counting detectors are:

  • Dectris instant retrigger technology for non-paralyzable counting
  • Direct detection of X-rays in single-photon-counting mode
  • Highest local and global count rates
  • Precise count rate correction for excellent data quality at high count rates
  • No dark current
  • No readout noise
  • High dynamic range
  • High frame rates
  • Short readout time
  • Excellent point-spread function

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