Dedicated to state-of-the-art time-resolved research in biological and physical sciences.


BioCARS micro-spectrophotometer for on-line and off-line recording of optical absorption spectra of crystals, to aid X-ray diffraction studies.

Laser Lab

BioCARS ps laser system: Spectra Physics, Ti:Sapphire Spitfire Pro 5 (780nm, 2ps, 1kHz, 5mJ/pulse) and TOPAS OP

14-ID Beamline

BioCARS 14 ID beamline provides necessary infrastructure for conducting state-of-the-art time-resolved X-ray scattering studies with 100ps time resolution, both in biology and in physical sciences.

Laue X-ray Diffraction Pattern

Laue diffraction pattern collected at 14 ID from a Scapharca Inequivalvis tetrameric hemoglobin crystal, as part of 100ps time-resolved studies.

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Our Mission

The mission of BioCARS is to provide state-of-the-art X-ray facility, scientific and technical expertise and support to enable users to study the dynamic properties of biological macromolecules by X-ray scattering techniques: time-resolved diffraction and solution scattering (SAXS/WAXS). In hybrid mode of the APS storage ring, BioCARS 14-ID beamline provides high polychromatic flux, with ~3 × 1010 photons per 100ps pulse delivered to the sample. Short X-ray pulses are synchronized with ps or ns laser pulses for conducting pump-probe time-resolved experiments. In recent years we developed and implemented these technologies that are now offered as standard methods to BioCARS users:

  • Serial Laue micro-crystallography using fixed targets and crystal injectors to facilitate studies of irreversible reactions while minimizing sample consumption.
  • Electric-field jump as a method for reaction initiation and studies of protein dynamics.
  • Novel temperature-controlled sample cells for temperature-jump solution scattering studies.
  • Sample-minimizing co-flow cell for time-resolved solution scattering studies of irreversible reactions.

The overall goal of time-resolved experiments at BioCARS is to understand basic biological processes in structural and dynamics terms, on time scales from 100 picoseconds to seconds.

Use of BioCARS is supported by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under grant number P41 GM118217. Funding acknowledgement  for publications resulting from use of BioCARS facility can be found here.


Quick Links

Recent Publications

Chan, A. M., Nijhawan, A. K., Hsu, D. J., Leshchev, D., Rimmerman, D., Kosheleva, I., Kohlstedt, K. L., and Chen, L. X.
The Role of Transient Intermediate Structures in the Unfolding of the Trp-Cage Fast-Folding Protein: Generating Ensembles from Time-Resolved X-ray Solution Scattering with Genetic Algorithms.
J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 14, 1133–1139 (2023).

Dalton, K. M., Greisman, J. B., and Hekstra, D. R.
A unifying Bayesian framework for merging X-ray diffraction data.
Nat Commun
13, 7764 (2022).

Wilamowski, M., Sherrell, D. A., Kim, Y., Lavens, A., Henning, R. W., Lazarski, K., Shigemoto, A., Endres, M., Maltseva, N., Babnigg, G., Burdette, S. C., Srajer, V., and Joachimiak, A.
Time-resolved β-lactam cleavage by L1 metallo-β-lactamase.
Nat Commun 13, 7379 (2022).

Lee, S. J., Kim, T. W., Kim, J. G., Yang, C., Yun, S. R., Kim, C., Ren, Z., Kumarapperuma, I., Kuk, J., Moffat, K., Yang, X., and Ihee, H. (2022)
Light-induced protein structural dynamics in bacteriophytochrome revealed by time-resolved x-ray solution scattering.
Science Advances 8, eabm6278.

Moreno-Chicano et al. (2022)
Complementarity of neutron, XFEL and synchrotron crystallography for defining the structures of metalloenzymes at room temperature.
IUCrJ 9, 610–624.

Latest News and Highlights

See also: APS Science Highlights

Pink-beam serial crystallography

Meents, A., Wiedorn, M. O., Srajer, V., Henning, R., Sarrou, I., Bergtholdt, J., Barthelmess, M., Reinke, P. Y. A., Dierksmeyer, D., Tolstikova, A., Schaible, S., Messerschmidt, M., Ogata, C. M., Kissick, D. J., Taft, M. H., Manstein, D. J., Lieske, J., Oberthuer, D., Fischetti, R. F., and Chapman, H. N. Pink-beam serial crystallography. Nature Communications 8, 1281 (2017)

2017 Science Careers in Search of Women Conference, Tour of BioCARS

(May 2, 2017) As in previous years, BioCARS participated again in the ANL-hosted annual Science Careers in Search of Women Conference this year (Click here for more). Participants were provided with the unique opportunity to learn more about STEM careers, in an effort...

New Technique Shocks Proteins Into Action

Hekstra, D. R., White, K. I., Socolich, M. A., Henning, R. W., Šrajer, V., and Ranganathan, R. (2016) Electric-field-stimulated protein mechanics. Nature 540, 400–405

Serial crystallography enhanced by graphene

Sui, S., Wang, Y., Kolewe, K., Srajer, V., Henning, R., Schiffman, J. D., Dimitrakopoulos, C., and Perry, S. L. Graphene-Based Microfluidics for Serial Crystallography. Lab Chip. (2016)