Algorithms for Coherent Diffractive Imaging with X-ray Lasers
- Location: Room B7:101a, Biomedicinska Centrum (BMC), Husargatan 3, Uppsala
- Doctoral student: Daurer, Benedikt J.
- About the dissertation
- Organiser: Molekylär biofysik
- Contact person: Daurer, Benedikt J.
Coherent diffractive imaging (CDI) has become a very popular technique over the past two decades. This thesis focuses on two specific CDI techniques, flash X-ray diffractive imaging (FXI) on biological samples and X-ray ptychography.
CDI is a "lensless" imaging method which replaces the objective lens of a conventional microscope by a computational image reconstruction procedure. Its increase in popularity came together with the development of X-ray free-electron lasers (XFELs) which produce extremely bright and coherent X-rays. By facilitating these unique properties, CDI enables structure determination of non-crystalline samples at nanometre resolution and has many applications in structural biology, material science and X-ray optics among others. This work focuses on two specific CDI techniques, flash X-ray diffractive imaging (FXI) on biological samples and X-ray ptychography.
While the first FXI demonstrations using soft X-rays have been quite promising, they also revealed remaining technical challenges. FXI becomes even more demanding when approaching shorter wavelengths to allow subnanometre resolution imaging. We described one of the first FXI experiments using hard X-rays and characterized the most critical components of such an experiment, namely the properties of X-ray focus, sample delivery and detectors. Based on our findings, we discussed experimental and computational strategies for FXI to overcome its current difficulties and reach its full potential. We deposited the data in the Coherent X-ray Database (CXIDB) and made our data analysis code available in a public repository. We developed algorithms targeted towards the needs of FXI experiments and implemented a software package which enables the analysis of diffraction data in real time.
X-ray ptychography has developed into a very useful tool for quantitative imaging of complex materials and has found applications in many areas. However, it involves a computational reconstruction step which can be slow. Therefore, we developed a fast GPU-based ptychographic solver and combined it with a framework for real-time data processing which already starts the ptychographic reconstruction process while data is still being collected. This provides immediate feedback to the user and allows high-throughput ptychographic imaging.
Finally, we have used ptychographic imaging as a method to study the wavefront of a focused XFEL beam under typical FXI conditions.
We are convinced that this work on developing strategies and algorithms for FXI and ptychography is a valuable contribution to the development of coherent diffractive imaging.