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Ultrafast nonthermal heating of water initiated by an X-ray Free-Electron Laser [Biophysics and Computational Biology]

X-ray Free-Electron Lasers have opened the door to a new era in structural biology, enabling imaging of biomolecules and dynamics that were impossible to access with conventional methods. A vast majority of imaging experiments, including Serial Femtosecond Crystallography, use a liquid jet to deliver the sample into the interaction region. We have observed structural changes in the carrying water during X-ray exposure, showing how it transforms from the liquid phase to a plasma. This ultrafast phase transition observed in water provides evidence that any biological structure exposed to these X-ray pulses is destroyed during the X-ray exposure.

Authors:   Kenneth R. Beyerlein; H. Olof Jönsson; Roberto Alonso-Mori; Andrew Aquila; Saša Bajt; Anton Barty; Richard Bean; Jason E. Koglin; Marc Messerschmidt; Davide Ragazzon; Dimosthenis Sokaras; Garth J. Williams; Stefan Hau-Riege; Sébastien Boutet; Henry N. Chapman; Nicuşor Tîmneanu; Carl Caleman
Journal:   Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences current issue
Volume:   115
edition:   22
Year:   2018
Pages:   5652
DOI:   10.1073/pnas.1711220115
Publication date:   29-May-2018
Facts, background information, dossiers
  • plasma
  • heating
  • femtosecond crystallography
  • computational biology
  • biophysics
  • biomolecules
More about Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
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