X-ray Imaging

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Five Years of Illumination: SLAC's Linac Coherent Light Source

Five years ago, the brightest source of X-rays on the planet lit up at SLAC. The Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) X-ray laser's scientific and technical progress since its momentous "first light" have been no less luminous, say those who have played a role in its success.

'Smart Window' Material May Make Better Batteries

Windows that darken to filter out sunlight in response to electric current, function much like batteries. Now, X-ray studies at SLAC provide a crystal-clear view into how this color-changing material behaves in a working battery – information that could benefit next-generation rechargeable batteries.

Fossil Leaves Preserve Living Chemistry

X-ray studies conducted at SLAC and in the United Kingdom have resurrected the detailed chemistry of 50-million-year-old leaves from fossils found in the western United States and found striking similarities to their modern descendants.

Data-mining for Crystal 'Gold' at SLAC's X-ray Laser

A new tool for analyzing mountains of data from SLAC’s Linac Coherent Lightsource (LCLS) X-ray laser can produce high-quality images of important proteins using fewer samples. Scientists hope to use it to reveal the structures and functions of proteins that have proven elusive, as well as mine data from past experiments for new information

LAMP: A New Tool Turns On at SLAC's X-ray Laser

A 2-ton instrument the size of a compact car, now available at SLAC's X-ray laser, makes it possible to capture more detailed images of atoms, molecules, nanoscale features of solids, and individual particles such as viruses and airborne soot.

Scientists Line Up Unruly Gas Molecules for X-rays

It's hard to study individual molecules in a gas because they tumble around chaotically and never sit still. Researchers at SLAC overcame this challenge by using a laser to point them in the same general direction, like compass needles responding to a magnet, so they could be more easily studied with an X-ray laser.

Backstory: Marc Messerschmidt, Staff Scientist

Marc Messerschmidt, a staff scientist at the Coherent X-ray Imaging (CXI) experimental station at SLAC's Linac Coherent Light Source X-ray laser, describes his daily work, which is far from routine.