Single-molecule imaging with longer X-ray laser pulses

Martin, A, Corso, J, Caleman, C, Timneanu, N and Quiney, H 2015, 'Single-molecule imaging with longer X-ray laser pulses', IUCrJ, vol. 2, no. 6, pp. 661-674.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Single-molecule imaging with longer X-ray laser pulses
Author(s) Martin, A
Corso, J
Caleman, C
Timneanu, N
Quiney, H
Year 2015
Journal name IUCrJ
Volume number 2
Issue number 6
Start page 661
End page 674
Total pages 14
Publisher International Union of Crystallography
Abstract During the last five years, serial femtosecond crystallography using X-ray laser pulses has been developed into a powerful technique for determining the atomic structures of protein molecules from micrometre- and sub-micrometre-sized crystals. One of the key reasons for this success is the 'self-gating' pulse effect, whereby the X-ray laser pulses do not need to outrun all radiation damage processes. Instead, X-ray-induced damage terminates the Bragg diffraction prior to the pulse completing its passage through the sample, as if the Bragg diffraction were generated by a shorter pulse of equal intensity. As a result, serial femtosecond crystallography does not need to be performed with pulses as short as 5-10 fs, but can succeed for pulses 50-100 fs in duration. It is shown here that a similar gating effect applies to single-molecule diffraction with respect to spatially uncorrelated damage processes like ionization and ion diffusion. The effect is clearly seen in calculations of the diffraction contrast, by calculating the diffraction of the average structure separately to the diffraction from statistical fluctuations of the structure due to damage ('damage noise'). The results suggest that sub-nanometre single-molecule imaging with 30-50 fs pulses, like those produced at currently operating facilities, should not yet be ruled out. The theory presented opens up new experimental avenues to measure the impact of damage on single-particle diffraction, which is needed to test damage models and to identify optimal imaging conditions.
Subject Condensed Matter Imaging
Keyword(s) 'Self-gated' pulses
Coherent diffractive imaging
Radiation damage
Single-molecule imaging
XFELs
DOI - identifier 10.1107/S2052252515016887
Copyright notice © IUCrJ (2015).
ISSN 2052-2525
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