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