Brookhaven Lecture

Presented by Garth Williams, National Synchrotron Light Source II

Wednesday, December 15, 2021, 4:00 pm — Videoconference / Virtual Event (see link below)

Images are the primary interaction media allowing scientists to understand the structure and dynamics of materials. Here at BNL and NSLS-II, X-ray microscopy is an invaluable tool for discovery in a wide variety of research areas including cell biology, energy storage, magnetoresistance, paleontology and many others. Similar to medical X-ray radiographs, the motivation for developing X-ray microscopy tools lies in their useful properties: their short wavelength, which leads to high resolution images, and their weak interaction with matter, which results in long penetration depths. Just like the camera on a phone or the conventional microscope in a lab, x-ray microscopy has limitations, for example, a lens that permits high-resolution imaging commonly exhibits low efficiency, narrow depth-of-field, and aberration. Here, I will discuss coherent diffractive imaging (CDI), which removes some limitations of traditional microscopy by replacing an image-forming lens with physical insight and an inverse-problem-solving algorithm. Through this different approach CDI obtains high-resolution images with high dose-efficiency, a measure of the damage dealt to the sample by the illumination. As an example, consider catalysis, a ubiquitous phenomenon that accelerates chemical reactions, but is often poorly understood. CDI is one of the few tools that can monitor structure and deformation during such a reaction and those images can help in formulating structure-function relationships and lead to the development of more efficient or less dangerous catalysts. I will describe the applicability and benefits of CDI as a method, as well as the implementation of a CDI-optimized X-ray beamline at NSLS-II.

Hosted by: Bjoern Schenke

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