NECAT Beamline

The Northeastern Collaborative Access Team (NE-CAT) facility at the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory is managed by Cornell University and consists of seven member institutions:

  • Columbia University
  • Cornell University
  • Harvard University
  • Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Rockefeller University
  • Yale University.

    Primary funding for this project comes from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) , a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Additional financial support for NE-CAT comes from the member institutions.

    NIGMS at a Glance.

    Supported by:

    National Institutes of Health
    National Institue of General Medical Sciences


    *** New Requirements for Site Access ***

    --> New States recently added (January 10, 2016). They are bold and underlined. <--

    As of June 1, 2015 regular driver's licenses and ID cards from the following states will be not acceptable identification. You will be required to have Passport or Passport card, Federally issued ID, HSPD-12 cards, or an Enhanced license from Minnesota and New York.

    Non-Real ID states:
    * American Samoa * Arizona * Louisiana * Minnesota *New Hampshire * New York
    * Illinois * Missouri * New Mexico * Washington

    If you have any concerns, please contact us immediately.

    If you use NE-CAT beamlines, you are required to acknowledge NE-CAT in your publications as in this link.

    Now you can view beamtime availability in a calendar format!


    General Users interested in beamtime for the upcoming run cycle should submit their requests to APS prior to the deadline (calendar).

    Both of NE-CAT's ID beamlines 24-ID-E and 24-ID-C are now equipped with MD-2 Microdiffractometers and robotic sample auto-mount system. They are operational and accepting General User proposals.

    Users who are in need of immediate beamtime can apply to APS for rapid access time to NE-CAT beamlines based on open availability of unscheduled time.

    Please see our General User Requirements.


    The Northeastern Collaborative Access Team (NE-CAT), located at the Advanced Photon Source (APS), is funded by its member institutions and the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS). NE-CAT’s mission is to construct and operate synchrotron X-ray beamlines custom-built for technically challenging problems in structural biology.

    NE-CAT operates two undulator beamlines, 24-ID-C and 24-ID-E. Both provide exceptionally stable X-ray beams for crystallographic data collection. These beamlines are also available for remote data collection.

    The 24-ID-C beamline can deliver X-rays in the range of 6 to 21 keV or ~2.1 to 0.5 Å. This covers most of the popular elemental edges for phasing. This wide energy-range also makes the beamline well suited for ultra high-resolution data collection and soft X-ray sulfur SAD phasing. The beamline is equipped with an optional kappa goniometer for optimal alignment of crystals. A Pixel Array Detector (PAD), Pilatus-6MF, installed on the 24-ID-C beamline helps measure very weak Bragg reflection intensities due to its noise-less readout technology and also provides a very fast data collection capability in shutter-less data collection mode.

    The 24-ID-E beamline is a fixed energy microdiffraction beamline delivering X-rays at 12.66 keV, optimized for Se-SAD experiments. It is equipped with a CCD-based ADSC Quantum 315 detector.

    Both beamlines are equipped with state-of-the-art instrumentation to handle advanced data collection methods. MD2 microdiffractometers installed at both beamlines provide very clean beams from 5 microns to 100 microns in diameter and have exceptional sample visualization systems capable of visualizing micron-sized crystals with extreme clarity. Large-area detectors at both beamlines not only provide the best diffraction data, but also make it possible to resolve large unit cell dimensions. Detector lift is available at both beamlines, but detector tilt is possible only on the 24-ID-E beamline. Novel data collection techniques such as helical scanning are implemented at both beamlines.  These techniques help reduce the effect of radiation damage and offer increased data quality. Diffraction based centering is available at both beamlines to locate crystals in opaque media, such as Lipidic Cubic Phase (LCP).   Both beamlines are equipped with NE-CAT built ALS style sample automounting systems with fourteen puck capacity, thereby making screening of large numbers of crystals much faster and less effort intensive. Energy-dispersive EXAFS detectors at both beamlines enable rapid identification of metal atoms in crystalline or non-crystalline samples. Several sets of robotic pucks are available for users via our “puck loaning program”. A humidity-controlling device – HC1 is available to test the possibility of improving the diffraction by a small change of relative humidity of crystals. Users of the beamlines are supported by experienced resident crystallographers and have access to a full suite of data processing and structure analysis software from SBGrid. The NE-CAT developed software pipeline RAPD continuously monitors beamline activity and provides a data collection strategy on the fly and automatically processes the collected data. This also offers a remote participation opportunity where people at home can watch the progress of data collection via a web browser. A fully equipped chemistry laboratory and cold-room are available for users.