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CM02 is born

After several years of waiting, the France Cryo-EM project is becoming reality. This project will enable France to catch up its lack in term of big instruments for cryo-electron microscopy. France Cryo-EM is part of the “Plan Investissement d’Avenir 3” scheme and has enabled the purchase of three state-of-the-art 300 kV cryo-electron microscopes. The microscopes will be located at Illkirch (IGBMC), Grenoble (ESRF) and Saclay (SOLEIL).

For Grenoble, the microscope was delivered at the end of 2023. Prior to this, since May 2023, ESRF had been the prime contractor for the construction of a new hutch to house the microscope. Most of the construction work was completed in September, and reassembly of the microscope began at the same time. The manufacturer’s tests went well (resolution greater than 1.3 Å on apoferritin) and the team that will be in charge of the instrument has now started to take it in hand at the beginning of January with the perspective of opening the instrument to users at the beginning of April 2024.

This microscope, a Thermo Fisher Scientific (TFS) Titan Krios G4, equipped with a cold FEG, a Selectris X energy filter and a Falcon 4i, will operate as an ESRF CRG line. One third of the beam time will be allocated to ESRF users while the rest will be allocated via a curated process for French projects. This microscope, which will be able to carry out single-particle and tomography experiments, will be operated by a team of 5 people from the IBS/ISBG (see photo).

A big thank you to everyone involved in this project, not only at management level at the IBS,

ISBG and ESRF, but also at construction level (coordinated by Thierry Marchial) and from the start of the day-to-day construction of the hutch to its completion (Thierry Giraud and Christoph Mueller-Dieckmann) and to the TFS engineers (Thibaut Merle and Pierre-Yves Mille in particular) who reassembled the instrument.

G. Schoehn (IBS)

Figure caption: The CM02 team (from left to right: Félix Weis; Grégory Effantin; Pauline Juyoux; Lefteris Zarkadas) in front of the Titan Krios G4