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Nondestructive imaging of individual biomolecules


Germann, Matthias; Latychevskaia, T; Escher, C; Fink, H W (2010). Nondestructive imaging of individual biomolecules. Physical Review Letters, 104(9):095501.

Abstract

Radiation damage is considered to be the major problem that still prevents imaging an individual biological molecule for structural analysis. So far, all known mapping techniques using sufficient short wavelength radiation, be it x rays or high energy electrons, circumvent this problem by averaging over many molecules. Averaging, however, leaves conformational details uncovered. Even the anticipated use of ultrashort but extremely bright x-ray bursts of a free electron laser shall afford averaging over 106 molecules to arrive at atomic resolution. Here, we present direct experimental evidence for nondestructive imaging of individual DNA molecules. In fact, we show that DNA withstands coherent low energy electron radiation with deBroglie wavelength in the Ångstrom regime despite a vast dose of 108  electrons/nm2 accumulated over more than one hour.

Abstract

Radiation damage is considered to be the major problem that still prevents imaging an individual biological molecule for structural analysis. So far, all known mapping techniques using sufficient short wavelength radiation, be it x rays or high energy electrons, circumvent this problem by averaging over many molecules. Averaging, however, leaves conformational details uncovered. Even the anticipated use of ultrashort but extremely bright x-ray bursts of a free electron laser shall afford averaging over 106 molecules to arrive at atomic resolution. Here, we present direct experimental evidence for nondestructive imaging of individual DNA molecules. In fact, we show that DNA withstands coherent low energy electron radiation with deBroglie wavelength in the Ångstrom regime despite a vast dose of 108  electrons/nm2 accumulated over more than one hour.

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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:2010
Deposited On:20 Mar 2010 15:42
Last Modified:07 Dec 2017 01:48
Publisher:American Physical Society
ISSN:0031-9007
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.104.095501
Related URLs:http://arxiv.org/abs/0910.1499

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