UCL News


3-D Nanocrystals' Interior Image Created

5 July 2006

British researchers have taken a major step toward being able to take 'photographs' of individual nanocrystal molecules in action.

An international team led by UCL researchers at the London Center for Nanotechnology have obtained a full 3-D image of the interior of nanocrystals by using a process known as coherent X-ray diffraction imaging. …

UCL Professor Ian Robinson, who led the study, said: "This new imaging method shows the interior structure of atomic displacements within single nanocrystals can be obtained by direct inversion of the diffraction pattern. We hope one day this will be applied to determine the structure of single protein molecules placed in the femtosecond beam of a free-electron laser."

The technique is detailed in the journal 'Nature'.

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