Chapter 9.1 Principles of monochromatic data collection

Crystallography of biological macromolecules

Second Online Edition (2012)

Part 9. X‐ray data collection

  1. Z. Dauter1,
  2. K. S. Wilson2

Published Online: 14 APR 2012

DOI: 10.1107/97809553602060000824

International Tables for Crystallography

International Tables for Crystallography

How to Cite

Dauter, Z. and Wilson, K. S. 2012. Principles of monochromatic data collection. International Tables for Crystallography. F:9:9.1:211–230.

Author Information

  1. 1

    NCI Frederick & Argonne National Laboratory, Building 202, Argonne, IL 60439, USA

  2. 2

    York Structural Biology Laboratory, Department of Chemistry, University of York, York YO10 5YW, England

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 14 APR 2012



Optimal strategies for data collection are dependent on a number of factors. The alternative data‐collection facilities to which access is potentially available, how long it takes to gain access and the overall time allocated all place restraints on the planning of the experiment. This chapter aims to indicate procedures for optimizing data acquisition. Topics covered include: the components of a monochromatic X‐ray experiment, data completeness, X‐ray sources, goniostat geometry, the rotation method, crystal‐to‐detector distance, wavelength, radiation damage, data‐collection protocols, low‐resolution data and data quality over the whole resolution range.


  • I/σ(I) ratio;
  • Rmerge;
  • R factors;
  • anomalous scattering;
  • atomic resolution;
  • beam divergence;
  • blind region;
  • crystal‐to‐detector distance;
  • data collection;
  • data completeness;
  • detector overloads;
  • detectors;
  • exposure time;
  • fine slicing;
  • fully recorded reflections;
  • indexing of reflections;
  • isomorphous replacement;
  • low‐resolution data;
  • lunes;
  • molecular replacement;
  • monochromatic data collection;
  • mosaicity;
  • multiwavelength anomalous diffraction;
  • partially recorded reflections;
  • precession method of data collection;
  • radiation damage;
  • reflection profiles;
  • rocking curve;
  • rotation method of data collection;
  • rotation range;
  • single‐counter diffractometer;
  • single‐wavelength anomalous scattering;
  • synchrotron radiation;
  • Weissenberg method;
  • wide slicing;
  • X‐ray sources