Mesoscale morphology of airborne core-shell nanoparticle clusters: X-ray laser coherent diffraction imaging

E. Pedersoli, N. D. Loh, F. Capotondi, C. Y. Hampton, R. G. Sierra, D. Starodub, C. Bostedt, J. Bozek, A. J. Nelson, M. Aslam, S. Li, V. P. Dravid, A. V. Martin, A. Aquila, A. Barty, H. Fleckenstein, L. Gumprecht, M. Liang, K. Nass, J. SchulzT. A. White, N. Coppola, S. Bajt, M. Barthelmess, H. Graafsma, H. Hirsemann, C. Wunderer, S. W. Epp, B. Erk, B. Rudek, A. Rudenko, L. Foucar, S. Kassemeyer, L. Lomb, D. Rolles, R. L. Shoeman, J. Steinbrener, R. Hartmann, A. Hartmann, G. Hauser, P. Holl, N. Kimmel, C. Reich, H. Soltau, G. Weidenspointner, W. H. Benner, G. R. Farquar, S. P. Hau-Riege, M. S. Hunter, T. Ekeberg, M. Hantke, F. R.N.C. Maia, H. J. Tobias, S. Marchesini, M. Frank, L. Strüder, I. Schlichting, J. Ullrich, H. N. Chapman, P. H. Bucksbaum, M. Kiskinova, M. J. Bogan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Unraveling the complex morphology of functional materials like core-shell nanoparticles and its evolution in different environments is still a challenge. Only recently has the single-particle coherent diffraction imaging (CDI), enabled by the ultrabright femtosecond free-electron laser pulses, provided breakthroughs in understanding mesoscopic morphology of nanoparticulate matter. Here, we report the first CDI results for Co@SiO2 core-shell nanoparticles randomly clustered in large airborne aggregates, obtained using the x-ray free-electron laser at the Linac Coherent Light Source. Our experimental results compare favourably with simulated diffraction patterns for clustered Co@SiO2 nanoparticles with ∼10 nm core diameter and ∼30 nm shell outer diameter, which confirms the ability to resolve the mesoscale morphology of complex metastable structures. The findings in this first morphological study of core-shell nanomaterials are a solid base for future time-resolved studies of dynamic phenomena in complex nanoparticulate matter using x-ray lasers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number164033
JournalJournal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics
Issue number16
StatePublished - Aug 28 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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