Life Sciences Collaborative Access Team

9700 S. Cass Ave, Bldg 436A
Argonne, IL 60439
Main Office:    630-252-0222
21-ID-D:    630-343-6851 21-ID-E:    630-343-6852
21-ID-F:    630-343-6853 21-ID-G:    630-343-6854

About LS-CAT

The Life Sciences Collaborative Access Team (LS-CAT) provides macromolecular crystallography resources for those with a need to determine the structure of proteins. Mainly LS-CAT provides access to state of the art x-ray diffraction facilities at Argonne National Laboratory's Advanced Photon Source where extremely intense beams of x-rays are focused using both mirrors and beryllium lenses onto tiny protein crystals. The x-rays diffracted by these crystals are collected with giant CCD detectors that produce the images needed to calculate where the atoms in the protein crystal are.

LS-CAT was formalized in 2002 with seed money from the State of Michigan through the Michigan Core Technology Alliance. Northwestern University was selected as the managing partner and personnel from the du Pont-Northwestern-Dow Collaborative Access Team (DND-CAT) started work on the design of the facilities.

The LS-CAT facilities include four experimental stations using 2 insertion devices. The main beamline (21-ID-D) uses a shortened "Undulator" A and a Kohzu monochromator in a layout very similar to XOR Sector 4 and Northeastern Collaborative Access Team (NE-CAT), APS Sector 24.

In addition to the main beamline there are three experimental stations that share a single 3.0 CM undulator. The first two of these stations use diamond laue monochromators supplied by JJ X-Ray along with beryllium lenses to focus a beam monochromatic x-rays onto the sample. This allows SAD experiments to be done at the selenium edge (12.668 KeV). This arrangement is very similar to the ID14 beamline at the ESRF.

Construction of the LS-CAT facilities started in January 2006. By December 2006 the construction of the x-ray enclosures had been completed and the instrumentation of the main station, 21-ID-D, was far enough along to accommodate an aggressive experimental schedule.

Sadly, one of the driving forces behind the formation of LS-CAT, Martha Ludwig, passed away in late November, 2006, just days before the first x-rays were delivered at LS-CAT for its members. The experimental facilities at 21-ID are dedicated in her honor.

Current LS-CAT members are Michigan State University, University of Michigan, Wayne State University, Van Andel Research Institute, Northwestern University, University Wisconsin-Madison, Vanderbilt University, and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

You may use this map to see where we are or get driving directions to our facility.

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Twin holes burned in an acrylic block. The overall length of the block is 15 cm and these burns were made in about 20 seconds. Each of these x-ray beams provides about 3000 Watts of power in less than 1 square mm. This is a very nice way to visualize the extreme intensity of the x-ray beams we use.

Here are some photos from our construction and early commissioning days. Click on one of them to see the full sized version at

This is a Flickr badge showing photos in a set called LS-CAT-2006. Make your own badge here.
Contact:Michael Garavito
John Tesmer Dominico Gatti Eric Xu Wayne Anderson George Phillips Martin Egli Satish Nair