Coherent X-ray diffractive imaging: Applications and limitations

S. Marchesini, H. N. Chapman, S. P. Hau-Riege, R. A. London, A. Szoke, H. He, M. R. Howells, H. Padmore, R. Rosen, John Spence, Uwe Weierstall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

110 Scopus citations


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).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2344-2353
Number of pages10
JournalOptics Express
Issue number19
StatePublished - Sep 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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