Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Lensless camera uses X-rays to view nanoscale materials and biological specimens

21.02.2008
X-rays have been used for decades to take pictures of broken bones, but scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory and their collaborators have developed a lensless X-ray technique that can take images of ultra-small structures buried in nanoparticles and nanomaterials, and features within whole biological cells such as cellular nuclei.

Argonne scientists along with scientists from the University of California at Los Angeles, the University of Melbourne, La Trobe University and the Australian Synchrotron developed a way to examine internal and buried structures in micrometer-sized samples on the scale of nanometers.

This is important to the understanding of how materials behave electrically, magnetically and under thermal and mechanical stress. Application of this capability to biology and biomedicine could contribute to our understanding of disease and its eradication, healing after injury, cancer and cell death.

X-rays are ideally suited for nanoscale imaging because of their ability to penetrate the interior of the object, but their resolution has traditionally been limited by lens technology. The new lensless technique being developed at Argonne avoids this limitation.

“There is no lens involved at all,” said Ian McNulty, the lead Argonne author on a new publication on this work appearing in the journal Physical Review Letters. “Instead, a computer uses sophisticated algorithms to reconstruct the image. We expect this technique will enhance our understanding of many problems in materials and biological research.” The technique can be extended beyond the current resolution of about 20 nanometers to image the internal structure of micrometer-sized samples at finer resolution, reaching deep into the nanometer scale.

Other types of microscopes, such as electron microscopes, can image structural details on the nanometer scale, but once the sample reaches sizes of a few micrometers and larger, the usefulness of these instruments to probe its internal structure is limited. In many cases, only the surface of the sample can be studied, or the sample must be sliced to view its interior, which can be destructive.

A collaborative team comprising members of the X-ray Microscopy and Imaging Group at Argonne's Advanced Photon Source (APS) and a team led by Professor John Miao at the University of California at Los Angeles developed a powerful new extension of the new lensless imaging technique that enables high resolution imaging of a specific element buried inside a sample.

The key is the high intensity X-ray beams created at the APS at Argonne. An intense, coherent X-ray beam collides with the sample, creating a diffraction pattern which is recorded by a charge coupled device (CCD) camera. The X-ray energy is tuned to an atomic resonance of a target element in the sample. Using sophisticated phase-recovery algorithms, a computer reconstructs an image of the specimen that highlights the presence of the element. The result is an image of the internal architecture of the sample at nanometer resolution and without destructive slicing. By using X-ray energies that coincide with an atomic absorption edge, the imaging process can distinguish between different elements in the sample.

If the nucleus or other parts of a cell are labeled with protein specific tags, it can be imaged within whole cells at a resolution far greater than that of ordinary microscopes.

Another application of this new method of imaging includes the burgeoning field of nanoengineering, which endeavors to develop more efficient catalysts for the petrochemical and energy industries and materials with electrically programmable mechanical, thermal and other properties.

“There are only a handful of places in the world this can be done and APS is the only place in the United States at these X-ray energies,” X-ray Microscopy and Imaging Group Leader Qun Shen said. “We would eventually like to create a dedicated, permanent laboratory facility at the APS for this imaging technique that can be used by scientists on a routine basis.”

A dedicated facility would require building an additional beamline at the APS, which currently has 34 sectors, each containing one or more beamlines.

This research was funded by the Department of Energy's Office of Basic Energy Sciences as part of its mission to foster and support fundamental research to expand the scientific foundations for new and improved energy technologies, and by the National Science Foundation.

Argonne National Laboratory brings the world's brightest scientists and engineers together to find exciting and creative new solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation's first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance America 's scientific leadership and prepare the nation for a better future. With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science.

For more information, please contact Brock Cooper (630/252-5565 or bcooper@anl.gov) at Argonne.

Brock Cooper | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.anl.gov

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Climate cycles may explain how running water carved Mars' surface features
02.12.2016 | Penn State

nachricht What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?
02.12.2016 | University of Toronto

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses

02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>