Advances in the development of free-electron lasers offer the realistic prospect of nanoscale imaging on the timescale of atomic motions. We identify X-ray Fourier-transform holography as a promising but, so far, inefficient scheme to do this. We show that a uniformly redundant array placed next to the sample, multiplies the efficiency of X-ray Fourier transform holography by more than three orders of magnitude, approaching that of a perfect lens, and provides holographic images with both amplitude- and phase-contrast information. The experiments reported here demonstrate this concept by imaging a nano-fabricated object at a synchrotron source, and a bacterial cell with a soft-X-ray free-electron laser, where illumination by a single 15-fs pulse was successfully used in producing the holographic image. As X-ray lasers move to shorter wavelengths we expect to obtain higher spatial resolution ultrafast movies of transient states of matter.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics