IMAGINE is a high intensity, quasi-Laue neutron crystallography beamline developed at the 85 MW High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). This state-of-the-art facility for neutron-diffraction enables neutron protein structures to be determined at or near atomic resolutions from crystals with volumes of < 1 mm3 and unit cell edges of < 150 Å. The beamline features include elliptical focusing mirrors that deliver neutrons into a 2.0 × 3.2 mm2 focal spot at the sample position, and variable short and long wavelength cutoff optics that provide automated exchange between multiple wavelength configurations. The beamline is equipped with a single-axis goniometer, neutron-sensitive cylindrical image plate detector and room temperature and cryogenic sample environments. This article describes the beamline components, the diffractometer and the data collection and data analysis protocols that are used, and outlines the protein deuteration, crystallization and conventional crystallography capabilities that are available to users at ORNL's neutron facilities. We also present examples of the scientific questions being addressed at this beamline and highlight important findings in enzyme chemistry that have been made possible by IMAGINE.
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