X-ray Vision

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Science  18 Jul 2008:
Vol. 321, Issue 5887, pp. 313
DOI: 10.1126/science.321.5887.313m

In a typical diffraction experiment, one is able to capture the amplitude or intensity of the scattered radiation source but not the associated phase information. A number of approaches exist for reconstructing this information, usually through oversampling the diffraction data. Thibault et al. (p. 379; see the Perspective by Chapman) follow earlier work where they scan an object through a beam diffracted from a pinhole. Instead of deconvolving the data, they use a difference map technique to reconstruct the phase information. By using a Pilatus detector, they can rapidly collect data sets free of noise. The technique should allow for the study of buried interfaces in a number of materials-science problems and for characterizing next-generation x-ray sources.

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