Cryo and Room Temperature Crystallography - Oils and Grease

LV CryoOil

LV CryoOil™ is a low viscosity, low surface tension perfluoropolyether oil with extremely low vapor pressure, excellent chemical inertness and excellent thermal stability. It is ideal for cryprotection and for protection against dehydration and oxidation, especially of very small crystals.
The ice rings seen in the diffraction patterns of flash cooled protein crystals arise primarily from crystallization of the aqueous solution surrounding the crystal, not of the internal solvent. Oils can displace and replace this surrounding solution with little risk of damage due to osmotic shock.
However, when mineral oil, Paratone oil and other high viscosity oils are used, the volume of surrounding oil can exceed the crystal volume by a factor of 10 or more, and can contribute excess drag that increases sample motion in a cryostream.
LV CryoOil™ has the lowest viscosity of any available perfluoropolyether oil (1/10 that of Paratone oil and comparable to that of vegetable oil), and a very low surface tension (less than 1/3 that of water.
Consequently, a dip in this oil followed by gentle tapping to shake off excess can yield protective oil films on your crystal of as little as 10 microns thick.
Each vial contains 1.5 ml of oil, enough to protect hundreds of crystals.


NVH Oil is a very high viscosity oil suitable for room and variable-temperature diffraction measurements. Crystal motion during data collection is minimized, even when thick layers are used to prevent dehydration.
This oil is very effective in removing external solvent to prevent ice ring formation during cooling. Move your crystal back and forth in the oil, transfer to fresh oil, and repeat until you no longer see solvent trails and the crystal becomes nearly invisible.
Many protein crystals prepared in this way can be slowly cooled to 100 K without appreciable degradation of diffraction properties, allowing data collection at arbitrary temperatures. Unlike Paratone-N oil, this oil does not form diffraction rings when cooled.

Apiezon N

Apiezon N is a Silicon-Free and Halogen-Free cryogenic vacuum grease that is widely recommended and recognized as the grease of choice in cryogenic applications.
A tiny spot of Apiezon N is excellent for affixing small molecules to mitegen mounts, and provides for improved thermal contact. Apiezon N grease can be relied upon to maintain an effective, crack free connection for long periods, even in applications which are subject to frequent thermal cycling.

  • At room temperature, Apiezon N provides for a tenacious rubbery adhesion between your small molecule and chosen MicroMount™
  • Craze-free at cryogenic temperatures
  • Fills micropores of adjoining surfaces, improving thermal contact
  • Exhibits a vapour pressure of 6x 10-10 Torr at 20°C
  • Built-in radiation resistance
  • Easy to clean, use and remove