Coherent convergent-beam time-resolved X-ray diffraction

John Spence, Nadia Zatsepin, Chufeng Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The use of coherent X-ray lasers for structural biology allows the use of nanometre diameter X-ray beams with large beam divergence. Their application to the structure analysis of protein nanocrystals and single particles raises new challenges and opportunities. We discuss the form of these coherent convergent-beam (CCB) hard X-ray diffraction patterns and their potential use for time-resolved crystallography, normally achieved by Laue (polychromatic) diffraction, for which the monochromatic laser radiation of a free-electron X-ray laser is unsuitable. We discuss the possibility of obtaining single-shot, angle-integrated rocking curves from CCB patterns, and the dependence of the resulting patterns on the focused beam coordinate when the beam diameter is larger or smaller than a nanocrystal, or smaller than one unit cell. We show how structure factor phase information is provided at overlapping interfering orders and how a common phase origin between different shots may be obtained. Their use in refinement of the phase-sensitive intensity between overlapping orders is suggested.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number20130325
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Issue number1647
StatePublished - Jul 17 2014


  • Coherent convergent beam
  • Coherent nanodiffraction
  • Free-electron X-ray laser
  • Phase determination
  • Time-resolved diffraction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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