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Holography and coherent diffraction with low-energy electrons: A route towards structural biology at the single molecule level


Latychevskaia, Tatiana; Longchamp, Jean-Nicolas; Escher, Conrad; Fink, Hans-Werner (2015). Holography and coherent diffraction with low-energy electrons: A route towards structural biology at the single molecule level. Ultramicroscopy, 159:395-402.

Abstract

The current state of the art in structural biology is led by NMR, X-ray crystallography and TEM investigations. These powerful tools however all rely on averaging over a large ensemble of molecules. Here, we present an alternative concept aiming at structural analysis at the single molecule level. We show that by combining electron holography and coherent diffraction imaging estimations concerning the phase of the scattered wave become needless as the phase information is extracted from the data directly and unambiguously. Performed with low-energy electrons the resolution of this lens-less microscope is just limited by the De Broglie wavelength of the electron wave and the numerical aperture, given by detector geometry. In imaging freestanding graphene, a resolution of 2 Å has been achieved revealing the 660.000 unit cells of the graphene sheet from a single data set. Once applied to individual biomolecules the method shall ultimately allow for non-destructive imaging and imports the potential to distinguish between different conformations of proteins with atomic resolution.

Abstract

The current state of the art in structural biology is led by NMR, X-ray crystallography and TEM investigations. These powerful tools however all rely on averaging over a large ensemble of molecules. Here, we present an alternative concept aiming at structural analysis at the single molecule level. We show that by combining electron holography and coherent diffraction imaging estimations concerning the phase of the scattered wave become needless as the phase information is extracted from the data directly and unambiguously. Performed with low-energy electrons the resolution of this lens-less microscope is just limited by the De Broglie wavelength of the electron wave and the numerical aperture, given by detector geometry. In imaging freestanding graphene, a resolution of 2 Å has been achieved revealing the 660.000 unit cells of the graphene sheet from a single data set. Once applied to individual biomolecules the method shall ultimately allow for non-destructive imaging and imports the potential to distinguish between different conformations of proteins with atomic resolution.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute
Dewey Decimal Classification:530 Physics
Language:English
Date:2015
Deposited On:23 Jan 2015 13:10
Last Modified:08 Dec 2017 11:08
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0304-3991
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ultramic.2014.11.024

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