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mardtb  "desktop beamline"

Fully motorized versatile goniostat with support for a large variety of X-ray detectors

Chi axis

  • for easily mounting crystals without spilling liquid nitrogen
  • rotation range: 0 - 90°
  • motorized

Illumination unit

  • excellent sample recognition
  • 2 white LEDs as front light
  • 1 red LED as background light
  • independent of lab light source


  • 2 sets of motorized slits
  • 2 ionization chambers for continuous X-ray readings
  • experimental rotary shutter at end of collimator

Cryo actuator

  • holder for various types of cold heads
  • designed for one-handed operation
  • moves cold head out of the way for crystal mounting
  • motorized version available

Crystal monitor

  • built-in camera with large LCD screen

Motorized goniometer head

  • built-in x,y,z motors
  • solenoid for holding magnetic caps
  • compatible with all types of caps
  • point & click centering by software

Distance & 2-theta

  • translation along beam approx 380 mm
  • 2-theta rotation of up to 30°
  • mount for many types of detectors (up to 80 kg)

Automatic alignment system

  • hor. & vert. motor for translations around beam
  • hor. & vert. motor for rotations around beam
  • fully automatic beam search
  • fully automatic beam optimization
  • continuous monitoring of X-ray beam

With the mardtb desktop beamline we bring all those nice features that users know from synchrotron beamlines to the home lab. It offers a very high degree of automatization. Virtually all movements are motorized. All motors are controlled by a micro-processor that can be operated via an Ethernet interface from a host computer.

Optionally, the mardtb goniostat can be controlled from a mobile device (Android, iOS coming up soon). Please look at the mardtb app page for more details.



The instrument can be combined with any X-ray source from Mo sealed tubes to latest synchrotrons. The instrument accomodates either the mar345 image plate detector, the SX-165/MX-225 CCD detector, the PILATUS4 260K/1M or the EIGER2 1M/4M pixel detectors.


Thanks to a cardanic cradle, built-in ionization chambers and full motorization, the instrument will align itself automatically to the beam by pushing a single button in the provided software.


The built-in CHI rotation stage allows the PHI-axis holding the goniometer head to swing up into a vertical position. This makes cryo-mounting really straightforward.


An area of approx. 2 x 1.5 mm around the sample position will be displayed on the built-in LCD monitor sitting on top of the collimator. The video stream is redirected to a control computer.


A 2-theta motor allows for a vertical 30 degree rotation of a detector around the sample.


The instrument provides a fixed mount for a range of cryo-cooling devices (Oxford Cryosystems, Oxford Instruments, Rigaku Xtreme, etc.). A cryo-stream exhaust with adjustable flow rate ensures a laminar flow of the cold-stream around the sample and eliminates icing.


Depending on the configuration of the desktop beamline (see below), up to 22 motors can be found in the desktop beamline.


After many years of heavy-duty operation at many synchrotrons and home labs we are confident to say: there is nothing around that compares to the reliability of the mardtb goniometer.


The mardtb goniometer is renowned for its reliability. The cost of ownership for the mardtb, in particular, comes close to zero.


mardtb desktop beamline with mar345 image plate detector

Standard: 14 motors

The standard desktop beamline comprises motors for a PHI-axis (sample rotation), a Z-axis (horizontal sample translation), a CHI-swing (for easy cryo-mounting), a sample-to-detector translation stage, a 2-theta stage, a beamstop and 2 pairs of horizontal and vertical slits. The cardanic alignment system adds 4 more motors for translations and rotations of the instrument.

mardtb desktop beamline with mautomatic goniometer head

Automatic goniometer head: 16 motors

The automatic goniometer head adds x- and y-translation translations to the goniometer head (the z-translation being a standard component), making a standard IUCr-type goniometer head obsolete. Sample centering can be done from the computer or via a local motor control box.

mardtb easymount: automatic sample loading mechanism

easymount: 19 motors

The easymount is a fully motorized sample mounting and retrieval mechanism. The easymount adds one motor for the cryo-cooler translation and 2 motors for the sample transport system to the automatic goniometer head configuration. Please see the “easymount” product page for more details.

marcsc automatic sample changer

Sample changer: 22 motors

The sample changer adds 3 more motors for sample storage to the easymount configuration. Please see the “sample changer” product page for more details.


mardtb desktop beamline with automatic goniometer head Automatic goniometer head with motorized x,y,z-translations:
  • Stepping motors for x,y,z- translations of mounted sample
  • Solenoid for holding magnetic caps
  • Software with loop-finding routines and sample centering without human intervention as well as “pick and click crystal” centering routines.
Motorized cryo slider Motorized cryo-slider: 
  • Slider for automatically moving the head of the cryo cooler 20 mm up or down along the cold stream
Illumination unit for better sample alignment Sample illumination unit: 
  • LED’s for creating homogeneous illumination conditions for the built-in sample viewing system
  • Flippable paddle for homogeneous background
mardtb app  mardtb app: 


General features
  • Stand alone operation
    • Works with any X-ray source (Mo sealed tube to latest synchrotrons)
    • Detector mounts for: mar345, Rayonix SX-165 | MX-225, Dectris EIGER2 | PILATUS3
    • Compatible with mar345s, Rayonix and Dectris detector systems
  • Automatic alignment via host computer
  • Dedicated microprocessor
    • Real-time OS, TCP/IP services
    • 10BaseT Ethernet interface
    • Industrial serial bus for expandability
    • Open software interface for easy customization
Collimator System
  • Motorized slits
    • Automatic beam shape optimization
    • Variable aperture from 0 to 5 mm with 2.5 µm resolution
    • Individual settings for vertical and horizontal beam width
    • Tungsten slits for high quality beam shaping
    • Automatic or manual setting
  • Ionization chambers with large dynamic range (108)
    • Covers sources from 3rd generation synchrotrons to sealed tubes
    • Fast automatic beam optimization and analysis
    • Automatic capture of primary beam characteristics
  • Fast rotary beam shutter
    • Rotary solenoid for fast operation (1 ms)
    • Optical open- and close-state verification
    • Adaptive exposure synchronization
  • High resolution CCD microscope
    • Viewing direction along the beam path (20° offset)
    • Highly sensitive high resolution CCD camera (0.0003 lux / f1.4)
    • 2 mm x 2 mm viewing area for easy crystal location and centering
    • 4" LCD monitor integrated in collimator (70:1 magnification)
    • Video output for secondary monitor and frame grabber
    • Crystal view capture during data collection
  • Motorized precision tungsten primary beamstop
    • Automatic beamstop to crystal distance optimization
    • Easy beamstop alignment aided by microscope
    • Electronic detector collision protection
    • Easily attachable/detachable
    • 50 mm maximum crystal to beamstop for low resolution optimization
  • Fast rotary beam shutter
    • Rotary solenoid for fast operation (1 ms)
    • Optical open- and close-state verification
    • Adaptive exposure synchronization
Goniometer System
  • High precision phi-axis
    • Horizontal configuration
    • Resolution: 0.000625°/step, speed: up to 900°/min
    • Accuracy: 0.002°, reproducibility: 0.00125°
    • Manual gear unlock (anticlockwise) for easy crystal centering
    • Electronic referencing of zero position
    • Exposure synchronization with shutter feedback
    • Enhanced IUCR goniometer head mount
  • Motor driven phi-axis translation
    • Automatic/manual adjustment, electronic position referencing
    • 20 mm range for a 49 mm IUCR goniometer head, resolution: 0.3125 µm/step
    • Positioning speed up to 12.5 mm/sec for cryogenic purposes
  • Motorized phi-axis swing ('inverted phi')
    • Integrated into phi-axis assembly
    • Configurable swing angle from 0° to 90°
Detector Mount
  • Motorized vertical 2-theta arm (0° to 30°)
    • mar345: 2-thetamax = 96°, dmin(MoKalpha)=0.48 Å, dmin(CuKalpha)=1.04 Å
    • SX-165: 2-thetamax = 106°, dmin(MoKalpha)=0.44 Å, dmin(CuKalpha)=0.96 Å
    • EIGER2 R 4M: 2-thetamax = 98.2°, dmin(GaKalpha)=1.20 Å, dmin(CuKalpha)=1.35 Å
    • No distance restrictions, electronic position referencing
    • High resolution positioning (approx. 0.0001°/step at about 1°/sec)
  • Motorized crystal to detector distance translation stage
    • mar345: 75 mm to 425 mm, marCCD: 20 mm to 370 mm, Dectris EIGER2 R 4M: 35 to 390 mm
    • Integrated into 2-theta arm , no theta restrictions
    • Electronic position referencing
    • Resolution: 1.25 µm/step, speed: up to 25 mm/sec
Cardanic Cradle
  • Positional alignment
    • High precision vertical and horizontal translation
    • Automatic primary beam profiling
    • Vertical range: ± 7.5 mm (352.5 mm to 367.5 mm above table top)
    • Vertical resolution: < 1 µm (0.05 µm/step), vertical speed: 0.2 mm/sec
    • Horizontal range: ± 10 mm
    • Horizontal resolution: < 1 µm (0.3125 µm/step), horizontal speed: 3 mm/sec
  • Positional alignment
    • Directional alignment
    • Spindle driven horizontal and vertical rotation
    • Automatic beam optimization
    • Vertical rotation range: approx. ± 2°
    • Vertical resolution: approx. 0.3 µrad/step, vertical speed: approx. 2 mrad/sec
    • Horizontal rotation range: ± 3.5°
    • Horizontal resolution: approx. 0.8 µrad/step, horizontal speed: approx. 15 mrad/sec
  • Beam Profiling
    • Configurable adaptive beam optimization:
    • any beam from any optic
    • Fully automatic 3D beam profile analysis
Cryogenic Attachments
  • Cryostream mount at 45° about the beam axis (5° towards the source)
  • Cryostream exhaust with an adjustable flow rate, up to 50 l/minute capacity and virtually no icing near the sample
  • Support for Oxford Cryostream 600 to 800 & Cobra series, Oxford Instruments Cryojet and Rigaku Xstream
Computer requirements
CPU Pentium Pro 200Mhz or better (Intel, AMD, etc.)
Memory (RAM) >= 512 MB
Disk space >= 20 GB
Video card: Support for 24-bit colors at >= 1280x1024 pixels
Network card: Dedicated >= 10 Mbit/s with IP-address
TV-card: Optional feature for mardtb goniometer (see below)
Supported OS: Linux: Ubuntu
On request: Mac OS X, Windows, other Linux flavours
Required OS components X-windows, X11-environment, openmotif libraries


  • A PC MUST be equipped with a dedicated Ethernet card set to address
  • For the mardtb desktop beamline a video frame grabber is strongly suggested. A lost cost USB stick will be okay, but make sure that the stick is supported by the OS.