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

Pins, Caps, and Vials for use at LS-CAT


We support 18mm pins for both robotic and manual mounting. This makes the distance from the bottom of the base to the sample 22mm. If your pins are too long or too short you will not be able to position your sample in the cryostream or into the x-ray beam.

GOODExpect Problems with SPINE GripperExpect Problems with SPINE GripperBADBAD Always
Hampton CrystalCap HT (SPINE) (Paint on Hampton barcode can cause failures)
Molecular Dimensions MD7-401
Mitegen B5 or B5-R (SPINE)
Hampton CrystalCap Magnetic ALS HR4-779

Some batches do not dismount correctly with SPINE gripper
Hampton CrystalCap Copper Magnetic ALS HT

Some batches do not dismount correctly with SPINE gripper.
Hampton CrystalCap Copper Magnetic HT
Hampton CrystalCap Magnetic
You can mount these manually but they will always crash with cryotong gripper.
Plastic Screw Caps
You cannot use these with the robot at all. We do not support them for manual mounting either: expect problems and some sample loss.

Any of the "GOOD" caps work in either SPINE Baskets or ACTOR Magazines at LS-CAT. Vials are required in SPINE Baskets and forbidden in ACTOR Magazines.

Hampton rule of thumb: The cap style should have "SPINE". Note that the "ALS" style of Hampton caps will sometimes fail to dismount when using the SPINE gripper. This problem appears to come in batches: one user might have problems with most of their samples while the next user with the same style cap has no problems

The Hampton "ALS" style caps (shown on the left) work with our cryotong grippers and most of the time with our SPINE grippers. Hampton also markets a non-ALS version of the same caps (shown on the right) that have a small lip which cause our robots to crash with the cryotong gripper 100% of the time. You will be required to mount these manually.

Cap Materials: We rely on the magnetic properties of the caps to mount, collect data, and dismount your samples. Caps that have too little magnetic material or are magnetized opposite to our diffractometers will cause your samples to slip or fall off during transfer or data collection. Likewise, caps that have been strongly magnetized may fail to mount or dismount. Your best bet is to use the recommended caps and REMOVE RUSTY or DAMAGED CAPS FROM SERVICE.

Vials for SPINE Robotic Sample Changer
Molecular Dimensions MD7-402 Hampton SPINE Vials are too inconsistent for automationNon-SPINE vials lack a needed metal piece

We do not yet have enough experience with Mitegen SPINE vials to say if they work 100% of the time. So far they appear to be fine. Please let us know if you are using them.

Although the Hampton vials are sold as SPINE standard vials, they are too inconsistent in size to be used. If you bring Hampton vials for use with our robots we will suggest that you swap them out for Molecular Dimensions vials if we have them in stock.