Instrument Description

Bio-SANS was designed and optimized for analysis of the structure, function, and dynamics of complex biological systems. Bio-SANS is the cornerstone of the Center for Structural Molecular Biology (CSMB) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The Bio-SANS instrument is supported by additional CSMB capabilities that include development of advanced computational tools for neutron analysis and modeling, as well as biophysical characterization and X-ray scattering infrastructure. A dedicated biological sample preparation laboratory is located adjacent to the instrument.

Bio-SANS user Brad O’Dell talks about using small-angle neutron scattering to study cyanobacteria.


Bio-macromolecules and their assemblies

  • Protein complexes
  • Protein/DNA complexes
  • Lipids
  • Viruses
  • Carbohydrates

Hierarchical biological structures

  • Gels
  • Fibers and fibrils
  • Vesicles
  • Microemulsions

Membrane diffraction Biomimetic and bio-inspired systems


Wavelength:6 < λ < 25 Å
Wavelength resolution:Δλ ⁄ λ = 9 – 45%
Q range:0.0009 – 1 Å-1
Sample-to-detector distance:1.1 – 15.5 m
Detector:2-D Linear Position-Sensitive Detector
Detector size:Main detector 1 × 1 m²
Wide Angle detector 1 x 0.8 m²
Detector resolution:Main detector 192 × 256 pixels
​Wide Angle detector 160 x 256 pixels
Max count rate:1 MHz