Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Lensless Camera Uses X-rays To View Nanoscale Materials And Biological Specimens

Date:
February 25, 2008
Source:
DOE/Argonne National Laboratory
Summary:
X-rays have been used for decades to take pictures of broken bones, but scientists have now developed a lensless X-ray technique that can take images of ultra-small structures buried in nanoparticles and nanomaterials, and features within whole biological cells such as cellular nuclei.

Argonne scientists and collaborators used high energy X-rays from the Advanced Photon Source to create detailed images of nanoscale materials. The scientists are working to develop a dedicated facility for the process at Argonne.
Credit: Image courtesy of DOE/Argonne National Laboratory

X-rays have been used for decades to take pictures of broken bones, but scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory and their collaborators have developed a lensless X-ray technique that can take images of ultra-small structures buried in nanoparticles and nanomaterials, and features within whole biological cells such as cellular nuclei.

Argonne scientists along with scientists from the University of California at Los Angeles, the University of Melbourne, La Trobe University and the Australian Synchrotron developed a way to examine internal and buried structures in micrometer-sized samples on the scale of nanometers. This is important to the understanding of how materials behave electrically, magnetically and under thermal and mechanical stress. Application of this capability to biology and biomedicine could contribute to our understanding of disease and its eradication, healing after injury, cancer and cell death.

X-rays are ideally suited for nanoscale imaging because of their ability to penetrate the interior of the object, but their resolution has traditionally been limited by lens technology. The new lensless technique being developed at Argonne avoids this limitation.

“There is no lens involved at all,” said Ian McNulty, the lead Argonne author on a new publication on this work appearing in the journal Physical Review Letters. “Instead, a computer uses sophisticated algorithms to reconstruct the image. We expect this technique will enhance our understanding of many problems in materials and biological research.” The technique can be extended beyond the current resolution of about 20 nanometers to image the internal structure of micrometer-sized samples at finer resolution, reaching deep into the nanometer scale.

Other types of microscopes, such as electron microscopes, can image structural details on the nanometer scale, but once the sample reaches sizes of a few micrometers and larger, the usefulness of these instruments to probe its internal structure is limited. In many cases, only the surface of the sample can be studied, or the sample must be sliced to view its interior, which can be destructive.

A collaborative team comprising members of the X-ray Microscopy and Imaging Group at Argonne's Advanced Photon Source (APS) and a team led by Professor John Miao at the University of California at Los Angeles developed a powerful new extension of the new lensless imaging technique that enables high resolution imaging of a specific element buried inside a sample.

The key is the high intensity X-ray beams created at the APS at Argonne. An intense, coherent X-ray beam collides with the sample, creating a diffraction pattern which is recorded by a charge coupled device (CCD) camera. The X-ray energy is tuned to an atomic resonance of a target element in the sample. Using sophisticated phase-recovery algorithms, a computer reconstructs an image of the specimen that highlights the presence of the element. The result is an image of the internal architecture of the sample at nanometer resolution and without destructive slicing. By using X-ray energies that coincide with an atomic absorption edge, the imaging process can distinguish between different elements in the sample.

If the nucleus or other parts of a cell are labeled with protein specific tags, it can be imaged within whole cells at a resolution far greater than that of ordinary microscopes.

Another application of this new method of imaging includes the burgeoning field of nanoengineering, which endeavors to develop more efficient catalysts for the petrochemical and energy industries and materials with electrically programmable mechanical, thermal and other properties.

“There are only a handful of places in the world this can be done and APS is the only place in the United States at these X-ray energies,” X-ray Microscopy and Imaging Group Leader Qun Shen said. “We would eventually like to create a dedicated, permanent laboratory facility at the APS for this imaging technique that can be used by scientists on a routine basis.”

A dedicated facility would require building an additional beamline at the APS, which currently has 34 sectors, each containing one or more beamlines.

This research was funded by the Department of Energy's Office of Basic Energy Sciences as part of its mission to foster and support fundamental research to expand the scientific foundations for new and improved energy technologies, and by the National Science Foundation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by DOE/Argonne National Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

DOE/Argonne National Laboratory. "Lensless Camera Uses X-rays To View Nanoscale Materials And Biological Specimens." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 February 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080219150140.htm>.
DOE/Argonne National Laboratory. (2008, February 25). Lensless Camera Uses X-rays To View Nanoscale Materials And Biological Specimens. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080219150140.htm
DOE/Argonne National Laboratory. "Lensless Camera Uses X-rays To View Nanoscale Materials And Biological Specimens." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080219150140.htm (accessed August 27, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Australian Airlines Relax Phone Ban Too

Australian Airlines Relax Phone Ban Too

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 26, 2014) Qantas and Virgin say passengers can use their smartphones and tablets throughout flights after a regulator relaxed a ban on electronic devices during take-off and landing. As Hayley Platt reports the move comes as the two domestic rivals are expected to post annual net losses later this week. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hurricane Marie Brings Big Waves to California Coast

Hurricane Marie Brings Big Waves to California Coast

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 26, 2014) Huge waves generated by Hurricane Marie hit the Southern California coast. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chinese Researchers Might Be Creating Supersonic Submarine

Chinese Researchers Might Be Creating Supersonic Submarine

Newsy (Aug. 26, 2014) Chinese researchers have expanded on Cold War-era tech and are closer to building a submarine that could reach the speed of sound. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakingviews: India Coal Strained by Supreme Court Ruling

Breakingviews: India Coal Strained by Supreme Court Ruling

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 26, 2014) An acute coal shortage is likely to be aggravated as India's supreme court declared government coal allocations illegal, says Breakingviews' Peter Thal Larsen. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins