Europhys. Lett.
Volume 65, Number 4, February 2004
Page(s) 491 - 497
Section Condensed matter: structure, mechanical and thermal properties
Published online 01 February 2004
Europhys. Lett., 65 (4) , pp. 491-497 (2004)
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i2003-10119-x

Imaging atom clusters by hard X-ray free-electron lasers

Z. Jurek, G. Oszlányi and G. Faigel

Research Institute for Solid State Physics and Optics H-1525 Budapest POB 49, Hungary

(Received 18 August 2003; accepted 5 December 2003)

The ingenious idea of single-molecule imaging by hard X-ray Free Electron Laser (X-FEL) pulses was recently proposed by Neutze et al. (Nature 406 (2000) 752). However, in their numerical modelling of the Coulomb explosion, several interactions were neglected and no reconstruction of the atomic structure was given. In this work we carried out improved molecular-dynamics calculations including all quantum processes which affect the explosion. Based on this time evolution, we generated composite elastic-scattering patterns, and by using Fienup's algorithm successfully reconstructed the original atomic structure. The critical evaluation of these results gives guidelines and sets important conditions for future experiments aiming at single-molecule structure solution.

61.10.-i - X-ray diffraction and scattering.
32.80.-t - Photon interactions with atoms.
36.40.-c - Atomic and molecular clusters.

© EDP Sciences 2004