Laboratory for Macromolecules and Bioimaging LSB


Excellence from source to detector / excellence in life and materials science
We are at the forefront of method and instrumentation developments to render otherwise inaccessible information accessible via X-ray based techniques. In collaborations with Swiss and international scientists we employ these strengths for state-of-the-art research with focus on life and materials science. We are competent partners for academic and industrial users.


9 August 2017

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In Situ Serial Crystallography 2 Workshop at the SLS

A workshop dedicated to the presentation of the in meso in situ serial crystallography (IMISX) method (Huang et al. 2015, 2016 ActaD) for the X-ray structure determination of membrane proteins is organised at the Swiss Light Source at PSI for the second time. It will be held between November 27 and 29, 2017. The workshop consists of introductory lectures, as well as presentations of serial crystallography activities at various synchrotron facilities. The main part of the workshop focus on hands-on practicals on methods for growing crystals of membrane proteins by the in meso or LCP method, for collecting serial diffraction data on micro-crystals directly in situ and for processing the data most efficiently for high-resolution structure determination.

20 July 2017

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Diving into magnets

Media Releases Materials Research Matter and Material Research Using Synchrotron Light

For the first time, scientists have made visible the directions of the magnetisation inside a 3D magnetic object. The smallest details in their visualisation were ten thousand times smaller than a millimetre. Among others, the magnetic structure contained one outstanding kind of pattern: magnetic singularities called Bloch points, which up to now were only known in theory.

22 June 2017


Photonic structure of white beetle wing scales: optimized by evolution

A very thin layer on this beetle’s wings exhibits a complicated structure on the nanoscale that gives them a bright white color. X-ray nanotomography acquired at the Swiss Light Source provides a faithful image of this structure in three dimensions with which scientists can confirm its evolutionary optimization: just enough material for an efficient reflection of white light.

23 May 2017

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Towards understanding of human betacoronavirus HKU1 life cycle

Researchers from China and USA join forces with Swiss Light Source (SLS) macromolecular crystallography (MX) beamline scientists in a study, which aims at understanding an important step in the life cycle of the human betacoronavirus HKU1.

16 March 2017

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3-D X-ray imaging makes the finest details of a computer chip visible

Media Releases Materials Research Micro- and Nanotechnology Matter and Material Research Using Synchrotron Light

Researchers at the PSI have made detailed 3-D X-ray images of a commercially available computer chip. In their experiment, they examined a small piece that they had cut out of the chip beforehand. This sample remained undamaged throughout the measurement. It is a major challenge for manufacturers to determine if, in the end, the structure of their chips conforms to the specifications. Thus these results represent one important application of an X-ray tomography method that the PSI researchers have been developing for several years.

22 February 2017

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1000 Structures solved at X06DA-PXIII

The macromolecular crystallography beamline X06DA-PXIII has reached 1,000 structures in the Protein Data Bank (PDB) on February 22, 2017.

20 October 2016


First protein structure solved using the JUNGFRAU detector!

JUNGFRAU is a charge-integrating, two-dimensional pixel detector developed at the Paul Scherrer Institut for use at free-electron lasers, in particular SwissFEL, and synchrotron light sources. On the 10th October, the first protein crystallography experiment using the JUNGFRAU detector, was performed at the beamline X06SA (PXI) of the Swiss Light Source by the members of the Protein Crystallography and Detectors groups at PSI.

12 August 2016


Call for expressions of interest: Beamline partners at the SLS for PX II and PX III

We invite companies and institutions to secure access to the beamlines X10SA/PX II and X06DA/PX III through a long term contract.

30 June 2016

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Single shot grating interferometry demonstrated using direct conversion detection

Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute's Swiss Light Source in Villigen, Switzerland, have developed an X-ray grating interferometry setup which does not require an analyzer grating, by directly detecting the fringes generated by the phase grating with a high resolution detector. The 25um pitch GOTTHARD microstrip detector utilizes a direct conversion sensor in which the charge generated from a single absorbed photon is collected by more than one channel. Therefore it is possible to interpolate to achieve a position resolution finer than the strip pitch. The micron-level resolution delivered by the detector together with the appropriate algorithm to analyze the recorded fringe allows the differential phase signal to be retrieved. The interferometer's flux efficiency is increased by a factor of 2 compared to a standard Talbot-Lau interferometer by avoiding the use of the analyzer grating, which will lead to faster acquisition times and a potential dose reduction.

6 May 2016

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Experiment in a hovering droplet

Media Releases Research Using Synchrotron Light Biology Human Health

At the PSI, the exact structure of proteins is deciphered in the standard way, with X-rays. Now two PSI researchers have used a clever trick to advance this method further: Instead of pinning down the proteins, they are studying them within a levitating drop of liquid.

4 May 2016


How does food look like on the nanoscale?

The answer to this question could save food industry a lot of money and reduce food waste caused by faulty production. Researchers from the University of Copenhagen and the Paul Scherrer Institut have obtained a 3D image of food on the nanoscale using ptychographic X-ray computed tomography. This work paves the way towards a more detailed knowledge of the structure of complex food systems.

30 March 2016

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Watching lithium move in battery materials

In order to understand limitations in current battery materials and systematically engineer better ones, it is helpful to be able to directly visualize the lithium dynamics in materials during battery charge and discharge. Researchers at ETH Zurich and Paul Scherrer Institute have demonstrated a way to do this.
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