K2 Direct Detection Cameras

Cryo-EM is being led by the K2 camera that offers a "frame rate 10x higher than other detector brands” and produces “a DQE as high as 80%.”

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“At present only the Gatan K2, when operated in counting mode, can produce a DQE(0) as high as 80% in conjunction with reasonably small exposure times.  The K2 detector frame rate is about 10 times higher than that available with the two other detector brands.”– Subramaniam, S., Kuhlbrandt, W. & Henderson, R. (2016). IUCrJ 3, 3-7.

The K2 Summit® electron counting direct detection camera is simply the highest performance detector available for cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM). The unmatched frame rate of this direct detector allows electron counting modes to improve both contrast and resolution for large and small molecules alike. 

  • Only the K2 Summit can produce a DQE as high as 80%
  • First to identify ground-breaking structural discoveries using cryo-EM
  • K2® XP sensor provides the highest performance sensor for both resolution and contrast
  • Superior detective quantum efficiency (DQE) means better science
    • Image samples below 500 kDa at high resolution
    • Reliably resolve differences with heterogeneous samples
    • Higher quality cryo-tomography
  • Super-resolution mode means 4x larger area in one image


Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Liu, Y.; Gonen, S.; Gonen, T.; Yeates, T. O.


Merk, A.; Bartesaghi, A.; Banerjee, S.; Falconieri, V.; Rao, P.; Davis, M. I.; Pragani, R.; Boxer, M. B.; Earl, L. A.; Milne, J. L. S.; Subramaniam, S.


Sirohi, D.; Chen, Z.; Sun, L.; Klose, T.; Pierson, T. C.; Rossmann, M. G.; Kuhn, R. J.

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