CRISTAL is a high-performance undulator-based beamline providing state-of-the-art techniques such as coherent diffraction, time-resolved diffraction, high angular and high spatial resolution diffraction.This beamilne is dedicated to single crystals and powders between 4 and 30 keV.

The three instruments are: 

  • 2-circle power diffractometer equipped which multi-analysers
  • 4-circle diffractometer for precise high-q measurements
  • 6-circle diffractometer, offering an exceptional experimental potential.

Time-resolved pump-probe experiments are operational at the femtosecond resolution.

Beamline Energy Resolution
1.4 * 1010 [meV] @ 8 [eV]
Beamline Resolving Power
1 * 10-4 [deltaE/E]
Beamline Energy Range
4 - 30 [eV]
Max Flux On Sample
2.3 * 1010 [ph/s] @ 8 [eV]
Spot Size On Sample Hor
450 - 1000 [um]
Spot Size On Sample Vert
30 - 400 [um]


Energy Range
4 - 60 [keV]
The monochromator is a fixed exit DCM from the Accel company
Resolving Power
5 * 10-5 [deltaE/E]
Endstations or Setup

2-Circle diffractometer

Most of the powder diffraction experiments are performed on the 2-circle diffractometer. This instrument is positioned at the end of the beamline, 40 meters downstream of the U20 undulator to obtain a natural beam size (without any focusing) well adapted for Lindemann capillaries usually used for high resolution diffraction (with diameters from 0.7 to 0.9 mm). To study samples under various environments (cryostats, gas streamers) or to use alternative detectors, a XYZ table can be installed in front of the goniometer. This dedicated instrument is optimized to record high angular resolution diagrams for ab initio structure determination or to study phase transitions.
Endstation Operative


Sample Type
Crystal, Powder

4-Circle diffractometer

The purpose of the project was to provide the users (crystallographers, chemists, physicists, mineralogists) with a 4-circle diffractometer allowing an easy, fast and precise data collection on single crystals in different sample environments. The instrument specially built for the beamline has resulted from the association of two companies each well known in their area: Newport (Microcontrol) for the goniometer part and Agilent (Oxford Diffraction) for the detector and data analysis software.
The data are measured using the oscillation method: for each image acquisition, the diffraction signal is measured while the sample is rotated at constant speed over a small angular range (typically 1°). Therefore, the requested main characteristics of this instrument are:

a 2D CCD detector permanently mounted, which can be translated (80 mm < dtx < 340 mm)
high accuracy of motions,
very small sphere of confusion to be able to study micro-crystals (Ø < 10 µm),
data acquisition/analysis software package standard and familiar to most users.

All the motors are DC motors driven with Newport XPS controllers. Let us recall that the Cylinder of Confusion (CoC) is the largest diameter of the cylinder described by the sample during the motion of the concerned rotation axis, and the Sphere of Confusion (SoC) the largest dimension of the volume described by the sample during the motion of all the axes.


Sample Type

6-Circle diffractometer

The 6-circle diffractometer was designed to be precise and able to hold heavy sample environments (up to 15 kg) and detectors (up to 10 kg). It consists of four axes similar to the 4-circle ones (Komega, Kappa, Kphi, Delta) and two additional axes, mu for the sample and gamma for the detector, allowing the diffraction plane to be horizontal. The 6-circle is equipped with a 3-circle analyzer for high resolution measurements and polarization analysis. Like the 4-circle, all the motors are DC motors driven with Newport XPS controllers.
The measured angular accuracy of all axes are better than 0.001°. The sphere of confusion is better than 60 µm.


Sample Type


21-analyzers system
Agilent 2D CCD detector
The 2-circle and 4-circle diffractometers have their own detection system (respectively a 21-analyzers system and an Agilent 2D CCD detector). Below is a list of other detectors used at CRISTAL, either belonging to the beamline or to the detector pool. The possibility to use a particular detector on a given instrument is symbolized by the colored icons.


Detected Particle
  • Crystallography
  • Powder diffraction
  • Time-resolved studies
  • Ptychography
  • Coherent scattering
  • Elastic scattering
  • Time-resolved scattering
Life Sciences & Biotech
  • Pharmaceutics (drug screening)
  • Protein and macromolecular structures
  • Dynamics
  • Surfaces, interfaces and thin films
control/Data analysis
Control Software Type
  • Crysalis and in-house
Data Output Type
  • Images and spectra
Data Output Format
  • Nexus format
Softwares For Data Analysis
  • Crysalis, Fullprof, In-house
in partnership with