Coherent X-ray diffractive imaging: applications and limitations

  • Stefano Marchesini (Contributor)
  • Henry N. Chapman (Contributor)
  • S. Hau-Riege (Contributor)
  • R. A. London (Contributor)
  • A. Szoke (Contributor)
  • H. He (Contributor)
  • M. Howells (Contributor)
  • H. Padmore (Contributor)
  • Rachel Rosen (Contributor)
  • J.C.H. Spence (Contributor)
  • Uwe Weierstall (Contributor)



The inversion of a diffraction pattern offers aberration-free diffraction-limited 3D images without the resolution and depth-of-field limitations of lens-based tomographic systems, the only limitation being radiation damage. We review our recent experimental results, in which X-ray images were reconstructed from the diffraction pattern alone. A preliminary analysis of the radiation dose needed for CXDI imaging and the dose tolerance of frozen-hydrated life-science samples suggests that 3D tomography at a resolution of about 10 nm may be possible. In material science, where samples are less sensitive to radiation damage, we expect CXDI to be able to achieve 1 to 2 nm resolution using modern x-ray synchrotron sources. For higher resolution imaging of biological material, strategies based on fast-pulse illumination from proposed x-ray free-electron laser sources, can be considered as described in Neutze et al. Nature 406, 752–757 (2000).
Date made available2003

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