Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers Discover Technique to Kick a Record Number of Electrons Out of an Atom with an X-Ray Laser

19.11.2012
Supercharging is a technique no longer confined to automotive enthusiasts.

Artem Rudenko, a new assistant professor of physics at Kansas State University and member of the James R. Macdonald Laboratory, was one of the principal investigators in an international physics collaboration that used the world's most powerful X-ray laser to supercharge an atom.

By stripping a record 36 electrons from a xenon atom, researchers were able to bring the atom to a high positively charged state thought to unachievable with X-ray energy.

The findings will help scientists create and study extreme new states of matter, such as highly charged plasma, by fine-tuning the laser's X-ray radiation wavelengths in resonance with atomic levels -- resulting in ultra-efficient electron removal.

Conversely, researchers can use the findings to tune the laser wavelength to avoid enhanced electron stripping. This will reduce damage caused by X-rays and help produce better quality images of nano-world objects.

"Taking single-shot, real-time images of viruses, proteins or even smaller objects is a long-standing dream that came close to reality with the advent of powerful X-ray laser like the Linac Coherent Light Source," Rudenko said. "The main problem, however, is that such a laser also inevitably destroys the sample in the process of acquiring an image, and reducing this destruction by any means is critical for producing high-quality images."

The study on supercharging was performed through a large international collaboration led by Daniel Rolles from Max Planck Advanced Study Group, or ASG, in Hamburg, Germany, along with Rudenko and Joachim Ullrich, now a president of the PTB, the German national metrology institute.

"We brought 11 tons of equipment funded by the German Max-Planck Society to LCLS, which is a unique 1.5 km-long X-ray laser operated by Stanford University for the U.S. Department of Energy, and involved scientists from 19 research centers all over the world," Rudenko said. "We also needed to come back one year after our first experiment and repeat the measurements to understand the results. From all that we knew about this process we expected to strip at most 26 electrons, and it immediately became clear that the existing theoretical approaches have to be modified."

For the second leg of experiments physicists chose even higher X-ray energy -- and, surprisingly, saw fewer electrons kicked out of the atom. The key was that even though the energy was higher, it was not in resonance.

"While it is known that resonances in atoms affect their charged states, it was unclear what a dramatic effect this could have in heavy atoms like xenon under ultra-intense X-rays," Rudenko said. "Besides ejecting dozens of electrons, this more than doubled the energy absorbed per atom compared to all expectations."

Follow-up experiments led by Rudenko discovered similar effects in krypton atoms and several molecules.

The results were analyzed by Benedict Rudek from ASG Hamburg and reported in Nature Photonics journal in the article, "Ultra-efficient ionization of heavy atoms by intense X-ray free-electron laser pulses," http://www.nature.com/nphoton/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nphoton.2012.261.html.

For more information on the Linac Coherent Light Source, or LCLS, and the instrument used for the project, go to https://portal.slac.stanford.edu/sites/lcls_public/Pages/Default.aspx and http://today.slac.stanford.edu/feature/2009/lcls-camp.asp.

Artem Rudenko, 785-532-4470, rudenko@phys.ksu.edu

Artem Rudenko | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.ksu.edu

Further reports about: ASG Atom Coherent LCLS X-ray X-ray microscopy X-rays electrons laser system technique

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Active pits on Rosetta’s comet
03.07.2015 | Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Göttingen

nachricht Researchers find the macroscopic Brownian motion phenomena of self-powered liquid metal motors
02.07.2015 | Science China Press

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: Viaducts with wind turbines, the new renewable energy source

Wind turbines could be installed under some of the biggest bridges on the road network to produce electricity. So it is confirmed by calculations carried out by a European researchers team, that have taken a viaduct in the Canary Islands as a reference. This concept could be applied in heavily built-up territories or natural areas with new constructions limitations.

The Juncal Viaduct, in Gran Canaria, has served as a reference for Spanish and British researchers to verify that the wind blowing between the pillars on this...

Im Focus: X-rays and electrons join forces to map catalytic reactions in real-time

New technique combines electron microscopy and synchrotron X-rays to track chemical reactions under real operating conditions

A new technique pioneered at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory reveals atomic-scale changes during catalytic reactions in real...

Im Focus: Iron: A biological element?

Think of an object made of iron: An I-beam, a car frame, a nail. Now imagine that half of the iron in that object owes its existence to bacteria living two and a half billion years ago.

Think of an object made of iron: An I-beam, a car frame, a nail. Now imagine that half of the iron in that object owes its existence to bacteria living two and...

Im Focus: Thousands of Droplets for Diagnostics

Researchers develop new method enabling DNA molecules to be counted in just 30 minutes

A team of scientists including PhD student Friedrich Schuler from the Laboratory of MEMS Applications at the Department of Microsystems Engineering (IMTEK) of...

Im Focus: Bionic eye clinical trial results show long-term safety, efficacy vision-restoring implant

Patients using Argus II experienced significant improvement in visual function and quality of life

The three-year clinical trial results of the retinal implant popularly known as the "bionic eye," have proven the long-term efficacy, safety and reliability of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

World Conference on Regenerative Medicine in Leipzig: Last chance to submit abstracts until 2 July

25.06.2015 | Event News

World Conference on Regenerative Medicine: Abstract Submission has been extended to 24 June

16.06.2015 | Event News

MUSE hosting Europe’s largest science communication conference

11.06.2015 | Event News

 
Latest News

Siemens receives order for offshore wind power plant in Great Britain

03.07.2015 | Press release

'Déjà vu all over again:' Research shows 'mulch fungus' causes turfgrass disease

03.07.2015 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

Discovery points to a new path toward a universal flu vaccine

03.07.2015 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>