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Joint Research Group Macromolecular Crystallography

Xe,Kr-Noble Gas Derivatization

Usage of the noble gas chamber within the sample preparation laboratory

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Fig. 1 The Xenon/Krypton chamber

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Fig 2. Mini-vial with wick and pincers


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Fig. 3. An overview of the Xenon chamber device


  • Open the pressure bottle main valve
  • Set to the required pressure on the pressure regulator valve between 20 - 40 bar (maximum).
  • Raise the plunger to the top and attach the metal base with the crystal to the plunger magnet
  • Slide the plunger to the left and lower it into the chamber
  • Close the safety shield and the metal lock lever
  • Now the chamber is ready for pressurisation
  • Turn the 3 way valve to "Apply pressure"
  • Look at the chamber pressure gauge to see the current pressure of the chamber. If the pressure exceeds 40 bar (600 psi), a safety valve behind the instrument will be released with a plop and the crystal will be lost.
  • If necessary further open the "pressure regulator valve " to reach the desired pressure and then close it.
  • After reaching the desired pressure, turn the 3-way valve to "Hold pressure"
  • Wait for the incubation time.
  • After incubation, very slowly, turn the 3-way valve to "Release pressure". You can use the "Rate adjustment" to regulate the pressure release rate.
  • Once the pressure is completely released, unlock the safety shield and chamber lock
  • Raise the plunger, move it to the right and lower it into the pre-aligned vial in the liquid nitrogen
  • Release the metal base with the magnetic release lever on the top.


  • Please document the use of the chamber in the log book table
  • If the gas bottle is changed, please incubate once without any crystal to prime the system