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Single nano-Particle Imaging with Coherent Intense soft X-rays (SPICIX)
Date du début: 4 mai 2010, Date de fin: 3 mai 2012 PROJET  TERMINÉ 

"Ultrafast coherent diffraction using soft and hard X-rays is actually revolutionizing imaging science thanks to new sources recently available. This powerful technique extends standard X-ray diffraction towards imaging of non-crystalline objects and leads actually to a strong impact in physics, chemistry and biology [Miao, Nature 1999]. New ultrashort pulses recently available hold the promise of watching matter evolving with unprecedented time and space resolution. With the SPICIX project we propose to use table-top x-ray coherent source to perform ultrafast nanoscale imaging. X-ray generation from High Harmonic Generation (HHG) in gases are inexpensive compared to free electron lasers (FELs) and provides the capability for the generation of intense femtosecond and attosecond coherent X-rays. To perform the research, a new infrastructure dedicated to ultrafast imaging has been implemented in CEA Saclay. We will increase available X-ray intensities by one orders of magnitude and have single shot imaging available. The unique properties of the HHG sources will open new and complementary (with respect to FELs) fields of science. Using coherent X-ray diffraction (CXD), we will be able to 'get rid of the crystal' in diffraction experiments, and obtain images with few tens of nanometers in resolution of non-repetitive single nano-particles in single shot. We will then explore the limits of the coherent imaging technique in time. The capability of following a system evolving in time is very challenging. Dynamics at a femtosecond time scale involving ultrafast properties of matter at a nanometer scale will be involved. This is beyond our current knowledge on ultrafast processes and is thus of high impact on a very broad area in science and industry."