Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors
Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > A step ahead in the race toward ultrafast imaging of single particles

An intense X-ray pulse scatters off a sucrose cluster (red, white, and gray spheres are oxygen, carbon and hydrogen atoms, respectively) resulting in ejected electrons (blue spheres) and structural deformation.

CREDIT
Stacy Huang
An intense X-ray pulse scatters off a sucrose cluster (red, white, and gray spheres are oxygen, carbon and hydrogen atoms, respectively) resulting in ejected electrons (blue spheres) and structural deformation. CREDIT Stacy Huang

Abstract:
Using a combination of experimental and computational data, researchers discover paths to optimize pulses from highly intense X-ray beams.

A step ahead in the race toward ultrafast imaging of single particles

Argonne, IL | Posted on April 9th, 2020

Scientists have long pursued the ability to see the structure of a single, free-form molecule at atomic resolution, what many call the ?"holy grail" of imaging. One potential method involves aiming extremely short, highly intense X-ray free-electron laser (XFEL) pulses at a sample material. But this ultrafast imaging technique also destroys its target, so time is of the essence.

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory are advancing the effort with a combination of experiments and computer simulations, looking to understand how XFEL pulses interact with their targets. Recently, a team led by Argonne's Atomic Molecular Optical Physics group in the Chemical Sciences and Engineering division pinpointed an important and often ignored parameter that can influence experiment outcomes: time. Their paper, ?"The role of transient resonances for ultra-fast imaging of single sucrose nanoclusters," was recently published in the journal Nature Communications.

The ability to examine 3D structures at the atomic scale helps us better understand viruses, for example, and deliver medicine to the body more effectively. Today, this kind of analysis requires putting the material to be studied in crystalline form. Biological particles are fixed in this non-native form so that when an X-ray hits them, the beam scatters, creating a diffraction pattern that can be used to understand the molecular structure.

But many types of biological systems don't crystallize very well, and the crystals might be too small to generate a good diffraction pattern. Or crystallization might change the structure, preventing the ability to observe a particle in its natural state. To create a scatter pattern without crystallizing the material requires a superintense beam like an XFEL, flashed in mind-bogglingly fast bursts.

"For this type of experiment, you need very intense pulses, which can destroy the sample very quickly," said Phay Ho, an Argonne physicist who co-authored the paper. ?"With this approach, you need to use very short pulses so you can collect all the scattering signals before the sample is destroyed."

This race against time is measured in femtoseconds, one of which equals a millionth of a billionth of a second. To study how different parameters can affect an XFEL experiment's outcome, the cross-disciplinary team of researchers studied single nanoclusters of sucrose using the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS), an XFEL at Stanford University's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.

"The crystals that you observe at a storage-ring based light source such as Argonne's Advanced Photon Source (APS), as opposed to an XFEL, are typically 10 microns or so in size," said Linda Young, an Argonne Distinguished Fellow and paper co-author. ?"The structures we are looking at in this study are at least 200 times smaller -- nanometers in size."

The researchers then compared the experimental data with calculations run on the supercomputer Mira at the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility (ALCF). This involved a large ensemble of molecular simulations that tracked 42 million particles interacting with an XFEL pulse -- a job for a supercomputer.

"When you have a machine like Mira, you can run a large number of simulations, you can do them all at the same time, and you can run them over the timescales that we needed for this particular study," said Christopher Knight, a computational scientist with the ALCF and Argonne's Computational Science division, and a co-author of the paper.

The study found that when it comes to XFEL pulses on sucrose, shorter is better. Scientists looking to amp up the imaging results might use a pulse length of 200 femtoseconds. But it turns out 200 millionths of a billionth of a second might be too leisurely.

"If you use pulses this long, you can actually degrade your signal substantially," Ho said. ?"In order to do this type of imaging, the pulse should last only a few femtoseconds. It's important to look not just at the number of photons, but the number of photons per unit of time."

The computer modeling will help the researchers optimize future experiments, zeroing in on parameters that will produce the best results.

"It's not easy to get the beam time to do these experiments," Ho said. ?"This data will be very useful in figuring out the optimal pulse conditions to try next."

The ALCF, the APS and the LCLS are DOE Office of Science User Facilities.

This work was funded by DOE's Office of Basic Energy Sciences, the Swedish Research Council, the Swedish Foundation for International Cooperation in Research and Higher Education (STINT), the Peter Paul Ewald Fellowship from the Volkswagen Foundation, the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, the European Research Council and the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research. Computing time at the ALCF was awarded through DOE's ASCR Leadership Computing Challenge.

####

About Argonne National Laboratory
Argonne National Laboratory seeks solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation's first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance America's scientific leadership and prepare the nation for a better future. With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science.

The U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit https://?ener?gy?.gov/?s?c?ience.

About the Advanced Photon Source

The U. S. Department of Energy Office of Science's Advanced Photon Source (APS) at Argonne National Laboratory is one of the world's most productive X-ray light source facilities. The APS provides high-brightness X-ray beams to a diverse community of researchers in materials science, chemistry, condensed matter physics, the life and environmental sciences, and applied research. These X-rays are ideally suited for explorations of materials and biological structures; elemental distribution; chemical, magnetic, electronic states; and a wide range of technologically important engineering systems from batteries to fuel injector sprays, all of which are the foundations of our nation's economic, technological, and physical well-being. Each year, more than 5,000 researchers use the APS to produce over 2,000 publications detailing impactful discoveries, and solve more vital biological protein structures than users of any other X-ray light source research facility. APS scientists and engineers innovate technology that is at the heart of advancing accelerator and light-source operations. This includes the insertion devices that produce extreme-brightness X-rays prized by researchers, lenses that focus the X-rays down to a few nanometers, instrumentation that maximizes the way the X-rays interact with samples being studied, and software that gathers and manages the massive quantity of data resulting from discovery research at the APS.

This research used resources of the Advanced Photon Source, a U.S. DOE Office of Science User Facility operated for the DOE Office of Science by Argonne National Laboratory under Contract No. DE-AC02-06CH11357.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Brian Grabowski

630-252-1232

@argonne

Copyright © Argonne National Laboratory

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related Links

RELATED JOURNAL ARTICLE:

Related News Press

News and information

NUS researchers develop stretchable, self-healing and illuminating material for ‘invincible’ light-emitting devices: Promising applications include damage-proof flexible display screens and illuminating electronic skin for autonomous soft robots May 31st, 2020

The concept of creating «brain-on-chip» revealed: A team of scientists is working to create brain-like memristive systems providing the highest degree of adaptability for implementing compact and efficient neural interfaces, new-generation robotics, artificial intelligence, perso May 29th, 2020

SUTD developed a simple method to print planar microstructures of polysiloxane: The new method, embedded ink writing (EIW), enables direct writing of polysiloxane which helps in the fabrication of microfluidic devices, flexible wearables, and soft actuators May 29th, 2020

Researchers develop experimental rapid COVID-19 test using nanoparticle technique: Advanced nanotechnology provides 'naked eye' visual detection of virus in 10 minutes May 29th, 2020

Laboratories

Argonne researchers create active material out of microscopic spinning particles May 29th, 2020

Electrons break rotational symmetry in exotic low-temp superconductor: Scientists previously observed this peculiar behavior in other materials whose ability to conduct electricity without energy loss cannot be explained by standard theoretical frameworks May 19th, 2020

Making quantum 'waves' in ultrathin materials: Study co-led by Berkeley Lab reveals how wavelike plasmons could power up a new class of sensing and photochemical technologies at the nanoscale May 15th, 2020

Imaging

Raman, UV-visible-NIR, Photoluminescence and Polarization Spectroscopy of Microscopic Samples May 29th, 2020

Eavesdropping on single molecules with light by replaying the chatter May 15th, 2020

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Argonne researchers create active material out of microscopic spinning particles May 29th, 2020

Study finds electrical fields can throw a curveball: Particle-scale phenomenon akin to the swerving of a curveball could allow selective separation of suspended nanomaterials May 26th, 2020

Scientists use light to accelerate supercurrents, access forbidden light, quantum world May 21st, 2020

Electrons break rotational symmetry in exotic low-temp superconductor: Scientists previously observed this peculiar behavior in other materials whose ability to conduct electricity without energy loss cannot be explained by standard theoretical frameworks May 19th, 2020

Possible Futures

NUS researchers develop stretchable, self-healing and illuminating material for ‘invincible’ light-emitting devices: Promising applications include damage-proof flexible display screens and illuminating electronic skin for autonomous soft robots May 31st, 2020

Configurable circuit technology poised to expand silicon photonic applications: Chips can be programmed after fabrication for use in communication, computing or biomedical applications May 29th, 2020

The concept of creating «brain-on-chip» revealed: A team of scientists is working to create brain-like memristive systems providing the highest degree of adaptability for implementing compact and efficient neural interfaces, new-generation robotics, artificial intelligence, perso May 29th, 2020

SUTD developed a simple method to print planar microstructures of polysiloxane: The new method, embedded ink writing (EIW), enables direct writing of polysiloxane which helps in the fabrication of microfluidic devices, flexible wearables, and soft actuators May 29th, 2020

Discoveries

NUS researchers develop stretchable, self-healing and illuminating material for ‘invincible’ light-emitting devices: Promising applications include damage-proof flexible display screens and illuminating electronic skin for autonomous soft robots May 31st, 2020

Argonne researchers create active material out of microscopic spinning particles May 29th, 2020

Configurable circuit technology poised to expand silicon photonic applications: Chips can be programmed after fabrication for use in communication, computing or biomedical applications May 29th, 2020

SUTD developed a simple method to print planar microstructures of polysiloxane: The new method, embedded ink writing (EIW), enables direct writing of polysiloxane which helps in the fabrication of microfluidic devices, flexible wearables, and soft actuators May 29th, 2020

Announcements

NUS researchers develop stretchable, self-healing and illuminating material for ‘invincible’ light-emitting devices: Promising applications include damage-proof flexible display screens and illuminating electronic skin for autonomous soft robots May 31st, 2020

Configurable circuit technology poised to expand silicon photonic applications: Chips can be programmed after fabrication for use in communication, computing or biomedical applications May 29th, 2020

SUTD developed a simple method to print planar microstructures of polysiloxane: The new method, embedded ink writing (EIW), enables direct writing of polysiloxane which helps in the fabrication of microfluidic devices, flexible wearables, and soft actuators May 29th, 2020

Researchers develop experimental rapid COVID-19 test using nanoparticle technique: Advanced nanotechnology provides 'naked eye' visual detection of virus in 10 minutes May 29th, 2020

Interviews/Book Reviews/Essays/Reports/Podcasts/Journals/White papers/Posters

Argonne researchers create active material out of microscopic spinning particles May 29th, 2020

Configurable circuit technology poised to expand silicon photonic applications: Chips can be programmed after fabrication for use in communication, computing or biomedical applications May 29th, 2020

The concept of creating «brain-on-chip» revealed: A team of scientists is working to create brain-like memristive systems providing the highest degree of adaptability for implementing compact and efficient neural interfaces, new-generation robotics, artificial intelligence, perso May 29th, 2020

SUTD developed a simple method to print planar microstructures of polysiloxane: The new method, embedded ink writing (EIW), enables direct writing of polysiloxane which helps in the fabrication of microfluidic devices, flexible wearables, and soft actuators May 29th, 2020

Tools

Raman, UV-visible-NIR, Photoluminescence and Polarization Spectroscopy of Microscopic Samples May 29th, 2020

Molecules with a spin on a topological insulator: a hybrid approach to magnetic topological states of matter May 1st, 2020

Argonne scientists fashion new class of X-ray detector: New perovskite-based detectors can sense X-rays over a broad energy range. April 24th, 2020

New boron material of high hardness created by plasma chemical vapor deposition: The goal is material that approaches a diamond in hardness and can survive extreme pressure, temperature and corrosive environments April 17th, 2020

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project