They report in the journal Nature on a novel method of obtaining a full 3-D image of the interior of nanocrystals. Using a process known as coherent X-ray diffraction imaging, they were able to build a picture of the inside of nanocrystals by measuring and inverting diffraction patterns.
Ultimately, the technique will help in the development of X-ray free-electron lasers, which will allow single-molecule imaging. It will also allow researchers to more accurately assess the defects in any given material which gives them specific properties.
Professor Ian Robinson, of the UCL Department of Physics & Astronomy and the London Centre for Nanotechnology, who led the study, says: “This new imaging method shows that the interior structure of atomic displacements within single nanocrystals can be obtained by direct inversion of the diffraction pattern. We hope one day this will be applied to determine the structure of single protein molecules placed in the femtosecond beam of a free-electron laser.
“Coherent X-ray diffraction imaging emerged from the realisation that over-sampled diffraction patterns can be inverted to obtain real space images. It is an attractive alternative to electron microscopy because of the better penetration of the electromagnetic waves in materials of interest, which are often less damaging to the sample than electrons.”
The inversion of a diffraction pattern back to an image has already been proven to yield a unique ‘photograph’ in two or higher dimensions. However, previously researchers have encountered difficulties with 3-D structures with deformations as these interfere with the symmetry of the pattern. To overcome this problem, the UCL team used a lead nanocrystal that was crystallised in an ultrahigh vacuum. It showed that asymmetries in the diffraction pattern can be mapped to deformities, providing a detailed 3-D map of the location of them in the crystal.
Judith Moore | alfa
Meteoritic stardust unlocks timing of supernova dust formation
19.01.2018 | Carnegie Institution for Science
Artificial agent designs quantum experiments
19.01.2018 | Universität Innsbruck
On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.
We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...
What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...
For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.
Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...
At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.
No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.
Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...
08.01.2018 | Event News
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
19.01.2018 | Materials Sciences
19.01.2018 | Health and Medicine
19.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy