Crystal mounting

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Nomenclature[edit | edit source]

The crystal sits in the loop, the loop atop a pin, which is attached, usually with superglue, to a base (most frequently magnetic). Hampton calls the whole assembly CrystalCap. Caps protected by a vial can be stored in liquid nitrogen.

Potential problems after mounting the cap onto the goniometer head[edit | edit source]

  • ice crystals at the bottom of the base - These will slowly thaw and move the loop away from the cryostream ==> use only dry caps for freezing crystals
  • loose pins in the base => superglue pin into base and let set before freezing
  • magnets too weak (base too heavy)
  • magnet too strong, leading to whiplash effect and catapulting the crystal from the loop (when freezing crystals directly on the beamline, not when mounting prefrozen crystals)
  • incorrectly fastened goniometer, magnet etc.