Bowler, M.W.; Mueller, U.; Weiss, M.S.; Sanchez-Weatherby, J.; Sorensen, T.L.-M.; Thunnissen, M.M.G.M.; Ursby, T.; Gobbo, A.; Russi, S.; Bowler, M.G.; Brockhauser, S.; Svensson, O.; Cipriani, F.: Automation and Experience of Controlled Crystal Dehydration: Results from the European Synchrotron HC1 Collaboration. Crystal Growth & Design 15 (2015), p. 1043-1054
Open Access Version

Controlled dehydration of macromolecular crystals can lead to significant improvements in crystalline order, which often manifests itself in higher diffraction quality. Devices that can accurately control the humidity surrounding crystals on a beamline have led to this technique being increasingly adopted as experiments become easier and more reproducible. However, these experiments are often carried out by trial and error, and in order to facilitate and streamline them four European synchrotrons have established a collaboration around the HC1b dehydration device. The MAX IV Laboratory, Diamond Light Source, BESSY II, and the EMBL Grenoble Outstation/ ESRF have pooled information gathered from user experiments, and on the use of the device, to propose a set of guidelines for these experiments. Here, we present the status and automation of the installations, advice on how best to perform experiments using the device, and an analysis of successful experiments that begins to show some trends in the type of protocols required by some systems. The dehydration methods shown are applicable to any device that allows control of the relative humidity of the air surrounding a macromolecular crystal.