Beyond crystallography: Diffractive imaging using coherent x-ray light sources

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Science  01 May 2015:
Vol. 348, Issue 6234, pp. 530-535
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaa1394


X-ray crystallography has been central to the development of many fields of science over the past century. It has now matured to a point that as long as good-quality crystals are available, their atomic structure can be routinely determined in three dimensions. However, many samples in physics, chemistry, materials science, nanoscience, geology, and biology are noncrystalline, and thus their three-dimensional structures are not accessible by traditional x-ray crystallography. Overcoming this hurdle has required the development of new coherent imaging methods to harness new coherent x-ray light sources. Here we review the revolutionary advances that are transforming x-ray sources and imaging in the 21st century.

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