The complementarity of serial femtosecond crystallography and MicroED for structure determination from microcrystals Academic Article uri icon


  • In recent years, nano and microcrystals have emerged as a valuable source of high-resolution structural information owing to the invention of serial femtosecond crystallography (SFX) with X-ray free electron lasers and microcrystal electron diffraction (MicroED) using electron cryomicroscopes. Once considered useless for structure determination, nano/microcrystals now confer significant advantages for static and time-resolved structure determination from a wide variety of difficult-to-study targets. MicroED has been used to obtain sub-Ångstrom resolution maps in which hydrogen atoms can be clearly resolved from only a few nano/microcrystals, while SFX has been used to probe protein dynamics following reaction initiation on time scales from femtoseconds to minutes. We review these two complementary techniques and their abilities for high-resolution structure determination.

publication date

  • 2019