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The Laboratory of Molecular Biophysics
A Center of Excellence of the Swedish Research Council
Tuesday, 01 February 2011 20:57
The laboratory promotes research and discoveries at the frontiers of photon science by exploring and exploiting photon-material interactions on extremely short time scales, at extremely high photon frequencies, and in extremely strong photon fields. We produced the scientific justification in biomolecular imaging for building X-ray free-electron lasers, including the LCLS at Stanford, the European XFEL in Hamburg and other facilities currently under construction.
LCLS_mimivirus_diffraction_web
The Linac Coherent Light Source and a diffraction pattern of a single mimivirus particle.
 
X-ray science: The big guns
Friday, 31 January 2014 03:17

There is a news feature article on X-ray free electron lasers in Nature magazine describing the powerful X-ray lasers -- Nature 505, pp 605 (2014) .

 The article gives a good historical account of the challenges faced by the XFELs and the first exciting results obtained at the LCLS in Stanford. You can download the entire PDF here.  

This is part of a special issue dedicated to crystallography as "Crystallography turns 100" Nature 505, pp 585-716 (2014) .

 
Single mimivirus imaging with an X-ray Laser
Tuesday, 01 February 2011 11:27

Intense and ultrafast X-ray laser pulses have been used to collect diffraction data from single mimivirus particles. Using the "diffraction before destruction" concept, structural information  has been collected before the  virus particles have been vaporized. These outstanding results obtained by our group have been published in Nature 470, 78-81 (2011) . Further information can be accessed under Research

 Rendered-EM-Mimivirus-tiny
Rendering of a mimivirus electronmicrograph

Reconstruction Mimivirus
Reconstructed image of a mimivirus from a single X-ray exposure at the LCLS

 
Automated identification and classification
Sunday, 02 February 2014 04:22

Our latest article about the "Automated identification and classification of single particle serial femtosecond X-ray diffraction data" (also known as "hit-finding") has been published in Optics Express 22, pp 2497-2510 (2014).
Hit Finding Optics Express
In an experiment which produced copious amounts of data, we use both algorithms analyzing diffraction images and time-of-flight spectroscopy to find when a particle is hit by the X-ray laser.
 
High-field soft X-rays
Friday, 14 January 2011 01:06

We have reached into the high field regime at soft X-ray frequencies at FLASH, where we focused extremely short (15 fs) pulses to a micrometer size spot. The power density of the radiation reached more than 1017 W/cm2,  which would be similar to the power density of all the sun light hitting the Earth focused to a spot of only 1 cm2.

Two unexpected results emerge. At these intensities, metallic samples become transiently transparent to radiation and damage becomes less dominant. This is good news for imaging single particles with ultra-intense X-ray pulses. At the same time, high energy ions are ejected as the samples blow up, reaching energies enough to even facilitate nuclear reactions. These results have been reported in Phys. Rev. E83, 016403 (2011) and indicate that developments at X-ray lasers could, in principle, lead to a fusion between structural sciences and fusion physics.

NbD crater
Crater in a Niobium Deuteride crystal formed by an intense ultrashort X-ray pulse

 

 
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