Chapter 6.1 X-ray sources

Crystallography of biological macromolecules

Second Online Edition (2012)

Part 6. Radiation sources and optics

  1. U. W. Arndt

Published Online: 14 APR 2012

DOI: 10.1107/97809553602060000818

International Tables for Crystallography

International Tables for Crystallography

How to Cite

Arndt, U. W. 2012. X-ray sources. International Tables for Crystallography. F:6:6.1:159–167.

Author Information

  1. Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Medical Research Council, Hills Road, Cambridge CB2 2QH, England

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 14 APR 2012


In this chapter, standard stationary-anode, rotating anode and microfocus X-ray tubes are described and the spectra from these tubes are compared with the output from synchrotron-radiation sources. The choice of beam size, X-ray wavelength, spectral composition, intensity, cross fire and beam stability are discussed and a description is given of the beam-conditioning devices used with X-ray tubes for producing the desired X-ray beam properties: mirrors, polycapillaries and crystal monochromators. (The conditioning of X-ray beams from synchrotron sources is discussed in Chapter 8.1.)


  • cross fire;
  • crystal monochromators;
  • focusing collimators;
  • microfocus X-ray tubes;
  • monochromators;
  • rotating-anode X-ray tubes;
  • stationary-target X-ray tubes;
  • synchrotron radiation;
  • X-ray generation;
  • X-ray mirrors;
  • X-ray sources;
  • X-ray tubes;
  • choice of X-ray wavelength