Wavelength choice for soft x-ray laser holography of biological samples

Richard A. London, Mordecai D. Rosen, James E. Trebes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

114 Scopus citations


The choice of an optimal wavelength for soft x-ray holography is discussed, based on a description of scattering by biological structures within an aqueous environment. We conclude that wavelengths slightly longer than the 43.7-Å carbon K-edge provide a good trade off between minimizing the necessary source power and the dose absorbed by the sample and maximizing the penetrability of the x-rays through wet samples. This differs from the previous notion that wavelengths within the water window (between 23.2 Å and 43.7 Å) would be the best for holography. The problem of motion resulting from the absorption of x rays during a short exposure is described. The possibility of using ultrashort exposures in order to capture the image before motion can compromise the resolution is explored. The impact of these calculations on the question of the feasibility of using an x-ray laser for holography of biological structures is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3397-3404
Number of pages8
JournalApplied Optics
Issue number16
StatePublished - Aug 15 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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