Scientists produce unique X-ray holograms

Aug. 5, 2008 at 1:10 PM   |   Comments

BERKELEY, Calif., Aug. 5 (UPI) -- A U.S.-led group of scientists reports creating two of the brightest, sharpest X-ray holograms of microscopic objects ever made.

Working at the Advanced Light Source lab at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the free-electron laser in Hamburg, Germany, the researchers said their new technology is thousands of times more efficient than previous X-ray-holographic methods.

One hologram was of Leonardo da Vinci's drawing "Vitruvian Man." It's a lithographic reproduction less than 2 micrometers square, etched with an electron-beam nanowriter. The other hologram was of a single bacterium, Spiroplasma milliferum, made at 150-nanometer resolution and computer-refined to 75 nanometers.

The scientists, led by Stefano Marchesini of the ALS, said the values for the holograms are among the best reported for micron-sized objects.

"Imaging with coherent X-rays will be a key technique for developing nanoscience and nanotechnology and massively parallel holography will be an enabling tool in this quest," the researchers said.

The study, which included scientists from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, Sweden's Uppsala University, Germany's University of Hamburg, Arizona State University, Princeton University and the University of California-Berkeley, appears in the early online edition of the journal Nature Photonics.

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