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EIGER2 X detectors for the brightest X-ray sources

[Dectris team] The DECTRIS team in front of our booth at the IUCr Congress.

At the 24th IUCr Congress in Hyderabad, India, DECTRIS announced the EIGER2 X detector series, the latest Hybrid Photon Counting (HPC) detector for synchrotron applications. Over the last decade, HPC detectors have revolutionized X-ray sciences. For example, half of all new structures released by the Protein Data Bank are based on data acquired with DECTRIS HPC detectors. The new EIGER2 X detectors will allow researchers to answer more challenging scientific questions at the brightest new synchrotrons.

HPC technology is based on the direct detection of X-ray photons in a semiconductor with dedicated readout electronics for each pixel. By comparing the signal to a reference value in every pixel, electronic noise and possible fluorescence can be suppressed, and single-photon counting is enabled. Accurate data can be collected with superior signal-to-noise ratios. As a result, our users get better crystal structures, obtain more detailed structural information and extract more useful information from radiation-sensitive samples.

The parallelization of the readout system dramatically cuts down readout times. Acquiring a full data set is reduced to a few minutes at most, which opens up possibilities for high-throughput ligand screens, time-resolved studies of dynamic systems and high-speed characterization of heterogeneous samples. High frame rates combined with millisecond readout times enable shutter-less data-acquisition protocols and scanning of large sample areas with small step sizes. With a dead time of only 3 µs, EIGER detectors enable fine ϕ slicing at the highest angular speeds, again increasing the quality of the data that can be collected from a given crystal ( - see our success story).

Diffraction-limited storage rings with optical systems of corresponding quality enable much higher photon fluxes on the sample. The brilliant new X-ray sources that have already started operation or are under construction will provide unmatched opportunities to the crystallographic community. Small-angle X-ray scattering can be combined with stopped-flow devices to study reactions as they happen. The potential deterioration of battery materials with rising temperature can be visualized in situ. Protein microcrystals can be delivered to the beam in microchips holding hundreds of samples or even in liquid or viscous jets. Increasingly challenging biological systems can be understood in greater detail ( - see our success story).

[Count rate plot] Fig. 1. Progress in count-rate capability of different detector generations.
[EIGER X series] Fig. 2. EIGER2 X detector series.

The prospect of peeking into the unknown with ever-brighter X-ray sources is the main driving force behind our detector developments. For this, a high count-rate capability is particularly important. DECTRIS has always set the pace in this field. PILATUS3 introduced instant retrigger technology, which substantially extends the count-rate capability. EIGER broke the record for count rate per unit area. EIGER2 X takes photon counting a big step forward. Featuring DECTRIS instant retrigger technology, it supports count rates up to 2 × 109 counts/s/mm2 (Fig. 1). 'With the new EIGER2 X detectors series we match the power of 4th generation synchrotrons. I can't wait to see these system performing in the field', says Stefan Brandstetter, Head of Product Management at DECTRIS.

EIGER2 X detectors (Fig. 2) will be available early in 2019. Get a quote now at to prepare your beamline for the future with an EIGER2 detector.