Nanoscale imaging slated to improve

As Science Daily is reporting a group at the BESSY lab in Germany has pioneered a technique using X-ray holography (Nature abstract here) that can image down to 50nm. Predictions are that when the "X-ray free electron laser" [1] aka Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) comes online at Stanford in ~2009 that they will not only have 10x the resolution of current systems (does that get us to 5nm?) and will be able to do femtosecond imaging.

Interestingly from a biological standpoint this may provide a way around the problem of molecules which for various reasons simply refuse to crystalize and whose structure cannot be determined by more classical (X-ray crystallography) based methods. This (and the optical methods mentioned recently) suggest that we are actually going to be able to *see* and watch our inventions operate in the nanorealm. 1. [One has to wonder about the various ways to parse "X-ray free electron laser"…]

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