Femtosecond Time-Delay X-Ray Holography

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X-ray free-electron lasers (XFELs) will produce photon pulses with a unique and desirable combination of properties. Their short X-ray wavelengths allow penetration into materials and the ability to probe structure at and below the nanometer scale. Their ultra-short duration gives information about this structure at the fundamental time-scales of atoms and molecules. The extreme intensity of the pulses will allow this information to be acquired in a single shot, so that these studies can be carried out on non-repeatable processes or on weakly-scattering objects that will be modified by the pulse. A fourth property of XFEL pulses is their high ... continued below

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Chapman, H N October 24, 2007.

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X-ray free-electron lasers (XFELs) will produce photon pulses with a unique and desirable combination of properties. Their short X-ray wavelengths allow penetration into materials and the ability to probe structure at and below the nanometer scale. Their ultra-short duration gives information about this structure at the fundamental time-scales of atoms and molecules. The extreme intensity of the pulses will allow this information to be acquired in a single shot, so that these studies can be carried out on non-repeatable processes or on weakly-scattering objects that will be modified by the pulse. A fourth property of XFEL pulses is their high transverse coherence, which brings the promise of decades of innovation in visible optics to the X-ray regime, such as holography, interferometry, and laser-based imaging. Making an effective use of XFEL pulses, however, will benefit from innovations that are new to both X-ray science and coherent optics. One such innovation is the new method of time-delay X-ray holography [1], recently demonstrated at the FLASH FEL at DESY in Hamburg, to measure the evolution of objects irradiated by intense pulses. One of the pressing questions about the high-resolution XFEL imaging and characterization of non-periodic or weakly-scattering objects is the effect of the intense FEL pulse on the object, during the interaction with that pulse. The method of single-particle diffraction imaging [2] requires a stream of reproducible particles (e.g. a protein complex or virus) inserted into the beam, whereby a coherent X-ray diffraction pattern is recorded. The pulse will completely destroy the object, but if the pulse is short enough the diffraction pattern will represent the undamaged object. This ultrafast flash imaging was demonstrated at the FLASH FEL using test objects that included microfabricated patterns in silicon nitride foils [3]. Those experiments showed that no damage occurred during the 30 fs duration pulse. However, in those experiments the imaging resolution was limited by the long 32 nm wavelength at which the facility was then operating. We wished to dramatically increase our sensitivity to the particles explosions, to be able to increase the understanding of the dynamics of particles and predict the imaging performance at XFELs such as the LCLS. This was done in two ways in a single experiment: by holographically measuring the time evolution of the particle at times after the pulse had pass through the object; and by making an interferometric measurement of the change in the optical path through the object. The experimental technique, time-delay holography, achieved a time resolution better than 3 fs, and a phase sensitivity of better than 3{sup o}, or a sensitivity of < 3 nm of the expansion of the particles.

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PDF-file: 6 pages; size: 0.9 Mbytes

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  • Report No.: UCRL-TR-236074
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-48
  • DOI: 10.2172/922321 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 922321
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc901614

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  • October 24, 2007

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 27, 2016, 1:39 a.m.

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  • Nov. 28, 2016, 3:22 p.m.

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Chapman, H N. Femtosecond Time-Delay X-Ray Holography, report, October 24, 2007; Livermore, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc901614/: accessed September 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.