Mission Statement

Biochemistry at the atomic scale 

Understanding essential biochemical processes at the atomic level is the key to discoveries in the bioenergy, biomedical, and pharmaceutical sciences. IMAGINE’s high resolution allows researchers to study proteins and macromolecules, including those involved in processes such as biofuels production, the development of disease, and drug design.

Instrument Description

CG-4D’s IMAGINE instrument is a state-of-the-art, neutron image plate, single-crystal diffractometer that provides atomic resolution information on inorganic, organic, metallo-organic, and macromolecular single crystals that enables their chemical, physical, and biological structure and function to be understood. IMAGINE benefits communities with interest in pharmaceuticals, minerals and materials, small molecules, molecular organo-metallic complexes and metal-organic frameworks and enables the neutron crystal structure of oligo-nucleotides and proteins to be determined at or near atomic resolutions (1.5 Å).


Macromolecular structure and function

  • Hydrogen atoms in proteins
  • Enzymology
  • Ligand complexes
  • Structure-assisted drug design

Supra-Molecular Crystallography

  • Single molecule magnets (SMMs)
  • Metal-organic-frameworks (MOFs)
  • Polyoxometalates (POMs)

Sample Environment Under Development: Materials under Extreme Environment

  • 1 Mb and cryogenic temperatures
  • Phase transitions
  • Magnetic Transitions



Flux~107 n/s/cm2
Cross section2.0 x 3.2 mm
Wavelengths minimum2.0, 2.8, 3.3 Å
Wavelengths maximum3.0, 4.0, 4.5 Å
DetectorNeutron image plate (Gd2O3 doped BaF(Br.I):Eu2+)
Detector size1200 x 450 mm
Pixel size125, 250, 500 µm
Sample-to-detector distance200 mm
GoniometerSingle Phi rotational axis

Drop Volume Calculator

The calculator assumes that only one crystal grows in the drop. Protein solubility is not considered. Accuracy of protein concentration is essential.
a (Å) b (Å) c (Å) α (°) β (°) γ (°) Unit Cell Volume (Å3)
Custom Values
Space group Number of asymmetric units Number of protein copies in asymmetric unit Target crystal volume (mm3) Protein concentration (mg/mL) Protein molecule weight (Da) Min volume to add (uL)
Custom Values
O’Dell W.B., Bodenheimer A., Meilleur F. (2016) Neutron protein crystallography: A complementary tool for locating hydrogens in proteins. Arch Biochem. Biophys. 602:48-60