Tables for
Volume F
Crystallography of biological macromolecules
Edited by E. Arnold, D. M. Himmel and M. G. Rossmann

International Tables for Crystallography (2012). Vol. F, ch. 10.1, p. 245   | 1 | 2 |

Section Frost prevention

H. Hopea* and S. Parkinb

aDepartment of Chemistry, University of California, Davis, One Shields Ave, Davis, CA 95616–5295, USA, and bDepartment of Chemistry, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, USA
Correspondence e-mail: Frost prevention

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Three areas must be kept frost-free: the crystal, the crystal mount and the delivery end of the transfer tube. The first successful solution to this problem was the dual-stream design of Post et al. (1951[link]). It provides for a cold stream surrounded by a concentric warm stream. If the warm stream is sufficiently dry, this will prevent frost around the outlet. The crystal will remain frost-free only if mixing of the two flows occurs downstream from the crystal. For a stream aligned with the axis of the goniometer head, an additional shield is needed to keep the goniometer head frost-free.


Post, B., Schwartz, R. S. & Fankuchen, I. (1951). An improved device for X-ray diffraction studies at low temperatures. Rev. Sci. Instrum. 22, 218–220.

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