Aug 10, 2020

A prototype system for dynamically polarized neutron protein crystallography #DNPNMR

Pierce, J., L. Crow, M. Cuneo, M. Edwards, K.W. Herwig, A. Jennings, A. Jones, et al. “A Prototype System for Dynamically Polarized Neutron Protein Crystallography.” Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment 940 (October 2019): 430–34.


The sensitivity of Neutron Macromolecular Crystallography to the presence of hydrogen makes it a powerful tool to complement X-ray crystallographic studies using protein crystals. The power of this technique is currently limited by the relative low neutron flux provided by even the most powerful neutron sources. The strong polarization dependence of the neutron scattering cross section of hydrogen will allow us to use Dynamic Nuclear Polarization to dramatically improve the signal to noise ratio of neutron diffraction data, delivering order of magnitude gains in performance, and enabling measurements of radically smaller crystals of larger protein systems than are possible today. We present a prototype frozen spin system, built at Oak Ridge National Laboratory to polarize single protein crystals on the IMAGINE beamline at the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR). Details of the design and construction will be described, as will the performance of the system offline and during preliminary tests at HFIR.