Much of our work is devoted to performing state of the art X-ray scattering measurements. These experiments require new beam line arrangements and parts, which we design and machine in house! An example setup is illustrated below.
Fluorescence experiments are the perfect complement to our X-ray scattering measurements, giving a high-resolution, short length scale probe of biomolecules. We design and build our own custom microscopes, and use techniques such single-molecule FRET, alternating laser excitation FRET, and time-resolved light sheet microscopy.
One of our most specialized measurements is anomalous SAXS (ASAXS). Here, the varying scattering length of metal ions near an absorption edge is leveraged to probe the ion atmosphere around charged biomolecules. We use this technique to measure both the number and spatial shape of ions in the atmosphere around duplex DNA, RNA, and even riboswitches!