X-ray diffraction from isolated and strongly aligned gas-phase molecules with a free-electron laser

Jochen Küpper, Stephan Stern, Lotte Holmegaard, Frank Filsinger, Arnaud Rouzée, Artem Rudenko, Per Johnsson, Andrew V. Martin, Marcus Adolph, Andrew Aquila, Saša Bajt, Anton Barty, Christoph Bostedt, John Bozek, Carl Caleman, Ryan Coffee, Nicola Coppola, Tjark Delmas, Sascha Epp, Benjamin ErkLutz Foucar, Tais Gorkhover, Lars Gumprecht, Andreas Hartmann, Robert Hartmann, Günter Hauser, Peter Holl, Andre Hömke, Nils Kimmel, Faton Krasniqi, Kai Uwe Kühnel, Jochen Maurer, Marc Messerschmidt, Robert Moshammer, Christian Reich, Benedikt Rudek, Robin Santra, Ilme Schlichting, Carlo Schmidt, Sebastian Schorb, Joachim Schulz, Heike Soltau, John Spence, Dmitri Starodub, Lothar Strüder, Jan Thøgersen, Marc J J Vrakking, Georg Weidenspointner, Thomas A. White, Cornelia Wunderer, Gerard Meijer, Joachim Ullrich, Henrik Stapelfeldt, Daniel Rolles, Henry N. Chapman

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199 Scopus citations


We report experimental results on x-ray diffraction of quantum-state- selected and strongly aligned ensembles of the prototypical asymmetric rotor molecule 2,5-diiodobenzonitrile using the Linac Coherent Light Source. The experiments demonstrate first steps toward a new approach to diffractive imaging of distinct structures of individual, isolated gas-phase molecules. We confirm several key ingredients of single molecule diffraction experiments: the abilities to detect and count individual scattered x-ray photons in single shot diffraction data, to deliver state-selected, e.g., structural-isomer-selected, ensembles of molecules to the x-ray interaction volume, and to strongly align the scattering molecules. Our approach, using ultrashort x-ray pulses, is suitable to study ultrafast dynamics of isolated molecules.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number083002
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number8
StatePublished - Feb 28 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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