[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lasers have long played a critical role in the advancement of aerosol science. A new regime of ultrafast laser technology has recently be realized, the world's first soft x-ray free electron laser. The Free electron LASer in Hamburg, FLASH, user facility produces a steady source of 10 femtosecond pulses of 7-32 nm x-rays with 1012 photons per pulse. The high brightness, short wavelength, and high repetition rate (>500 pulses per second) of this laser offers unique capabilities for aerosol characterization. Here we use FLASH to perform the highest resolution imaging of single PM2.5 aerosol particles in flight to date. We resolve to 35 nm the morphology of fibrous and aggregated spherical carbonaceous nanoparticles that existed for less than two milliseconds in vacuum. Our result opens the possibility for high spatial- and time-resolved single particle aerosol dynamics studies, filling a critical technological need in aerosol science.
Aerosol Science and Technology 08/2011; 44(3):I-VI. · 2.78 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: ABSTRACT: Results of coherent diffractive imaging experiments performed with soft X-rays (1-2 keV) at the Linac Coherent Light Source are presented. Both organic and inorganic nano-sized objects were injected into the XFEL beam as an aerosol focused with an aerodynamic
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In a flash diffraction experiment, a short and extremely intense x-ray pulse illuminates the sample to obtain a diffraction pattern before the onset of significant radiation damage. The over-sampled diffraction pattern permits phase retrieval by iterative phasing methods. Flash diffractive imaging was first demonstrated on an inorganic test object (Chapman et al 2006 Nat. Phys. 2 839–43). We report here experiments on biological systems where individual cells were imaged, using single, 10–15 fs soft x-ray pulses at 13.5 nm wavelength from the FLASH free-electron laser in Hamburg. Simulations show that the pulse heated the sample to about 160 000 K but not before an interpretable diffraction pattern could be obtained. The reconstructed projection images return the structures of the intact cells. The simulations suggest that the average displacement of ions and atoms in the hottest surface layers remained below 3 Å during the pulse.
Journal of Physics B Atomic Molecular and Optical Physics 09/2010; 43(19):194015. · 2.03 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Theory predicts(1-4) that, with an ultrashort and extremely bright coherent X-ray pulse, a single diffraction pattern may be recorded from a large macromolecule, a virus or a cell before the sample explodes and turns into a plasma. Here we report the first experimental demonstration of this principle using the FLASH soft-X-ray free-electron laser. An intense 25 fs, 4 x 10(13) W cm(-2) pulse, containing 10(12) photons at 32 nm wavelength, produced a coherent diffraction pattern from a nanostructured non-periodic object, before destroying it at 60,000 K. A novel X-ray camera assured single-photon detection sensitivity by filtering out parasitic scattering and plasma radiation. The reconstructed image, obtained directly from the coherent pattern by phase retrieval through oversampling(5-9), shows no measurable damage, and is reconstructed at the diffraction-limited resolution. A three-dimensional data set may be assembled from such images when copies of a reproducible sample are exposed to the beam one by one(10).