Aerosol imaging with a soft X-ray free electron laser

Michael J. Bogan, Sebastien Boutet, Henry N. Chapman, Stefano Marchesini, Anton Barty, W. Henry Benner, Urs Rohner, Matthias Frank, Stefan P. Hau-Riege, Sasa Bajt, Bruce Woods, M. Marvin Seibert, Bianca Iwan, Nicusor Timneanu, Janos Hajdu, Joachim Schulz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Lasers have long played a critical role in the advancement of aerosol science. A new regime of ultrafast laser technology has recently be realized, the world's first soft x-ray free electron laser. The Free electron LASer in Hamburg, FLASH, user facility produces a steady source of 10 femtosecond pulses of 7-32 nm x-rays with 1012 photons per pulse. The high brightness, short wavelength, and high repetition rate (>500 pulses per second) of this laser offers unique capabilities for aerosol characterization. Here we use FLASH to perform the highest resolution imaging of single PM2.5 aerosol particles in flight to date. We resolve to 35 nm the morphology of fibrous and aggregated spherical carbonaceous nanoparticles that existed for less than two milliseconds in vacuum. Our result opens the possibility for high spatial- and time-resolved single particle aerosol dynamics studies, filling a critical technological need in aerosol science.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAerosol Science and Technology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Pollution


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