X-ray holograms at improved resolution: a study of zymogen granules

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Science  23 Oct 1987:
Vol. 238, Issue 4826, pp. 514-517
DOI: 10.1126/science.3659925


X-ray holography offers the possibility of three-dimensional microscopy with resolution higher than that of the light microscope and with contrast based on x-ray edges. In principle, the method is especially advantageous for biological samples if x-rays in the wavelength region between the carbon and oxygen K edges are used. However, until now the achieved resolution has not exceeded that of the light microscope because of the poor coherence properties of the x-ray sources and the low resolution of the detectors that were available. With a recently developed x-ray source based on an undulator on an electron storage ring, and high resolution x-ray resist, a hologram has been recorded at about 400-angstrom resolution. The experiment utilized x-rays with wavelengths of 24.7 angstroms and required a 1-hour exposure of the pancreatic zymogen granules under study.