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X-ray imaging beyond the limits


The intense, brief pulses of X-rays from upcoming free-electron lasers will greatly extend X-ray microscopy to the femtosecond time domain and to interatomic length scales. From recent experiments and simulations one can envisage imaging macromolecules with X-rays without the need for crystallization.

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Figure 1: Images of an exploding nanostructure.
Figure 2: Protein molecules, virus particles, nanocrystals and cells can be delivered in vacuum to a high-intensity X-ray FEL pulse, in droplets of water or other liquids.
Figure 3: Diffraction patterns from single objects differ from patterns of crystals consisting of repeats of those objects.



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Chapman, H. X-ray imaging beyond the limits. Nature Mater 8, 299–301 (2009).

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