Call for Proposals Now Open

Oryx8 Robot

First pilot call for deuteration and/or crystallisation support from the DEMAX platform

The Deuteration and Macromolecular Crystallisation (DEMAX) platform at  ESS supports neutron users from the soft matter, biology, life sciences and chemistry research areas. The relevant techniques that these communities use include: small angle scattering, reflectometry, single crystal diffraction, and spectroscopy. These classes of instruments are being built as part of the first eight instruments at ESS and have a science case that will benefit from DEMAX.

DEMAX offers three areas of support: Biological deuteration (e.g. cell paste, soluble proteins, lipids, membranes), Chemical deuteration (e.g. small organic molecules, surfactants, phospholipids), and Crystallisation (biological macromolecules e.g. proteins).

The hot commissioning of the first ESS instruments is planned for 2022, but DEMAX launches its initial operations for deuteration/crystallisation in 2019 in order to be ready to support first science at  ESS. We kick-off with a pilot call for service requests with the ability to support a limited number of proposals. This will give us a chance to practice and refine our procedures while we are still establishing the labs and our methodological capabilities.

The deadline for proposal submission is 5 April 2019

Delivery of materials/support will be between June and November 2019

More information, submission procedures, and registration is available after 24 February 2019 at: https://demax.esss.s


At this time, we offer a defined list of deuterated materials and services:
Total yeast-derived lipids (unseparated)
Tail-deuterated lipids
Saturated, fatty acids/alcohols/halides/thiols
Oleic acid
Surfactants (sugar, amino acid)
Lactic acid
Bacterial cell pastes
Deuterated recombinant proteins
Support for large protein crystal growth (incl. sitting drop vapour diffusion, dialysis, batch, optimisation, targeted screening, testing with X-rays)


The Oryx8 Crystallography Robot at the ESS test lab at Lund University Biology Dept

Photo: ESS


During this pilot phase we will not limit access to DEMAX to ESS member countries. In the post pilot phase of DEMAX we will respect the ESS user access policy.

Although  ESS does not yet operate neutron instruments, pilot requests to DEMAX should demonstrate the intended to use of the materials at another neutron scattering facility, with a description of the scientific experiment to be carried out and the need for the requested service. This can be done by demonstrating awarded beam time, a submitted proposal, or a strong intention for applying for beam time (i.e. a draft proposal), as well as a track record of past awarded neutron beam time. The proposals will be reviewed for safety, feasibility, and technical issues, followed by external scientific peer review.

Services/materials supplied to accepted proposals during the DEMAX pilot (2019 - 2021) will be offered free of charge. DEMAX currently has limited capacity. For very challenging requests during this period, we ask users to submit expressions of interest. This will help us to track evolving needs and interests in the user community and also guides us in our future competence development and growth in the lab.

We strongly encourage applicants to communicate with us before submitting a request.

Please contact us at:

We look forward to hearing from you!
The DEMAX Team.