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Towards the Imaging of Single Biomolecules

Dr Harry Quiney

ARC Centre of Excellence for Coherent X-ray Science,
University of Melbourne

3:30 pm Friday, 13 February 2009, EN101 (Ground Floor, EN Building), Hawthorn.

The development of short-pulse, short-wavelength light sources that are both bright and coherent has suggested the possibility that we may observe directly the structures and reaction dynamics of isolated molecules. This would facilitate the study of biological systems, such as membrane proteins, that are largely inaccessible to conventional crystallography because of their reluctance to form crystalline specimens.

The physics behind the proposal to image single molecules by collecting diffraction data will be analysed. Recent experimental XUV data obtained at DESY will be used to motivate our discussion of the essential challenges posed by the use of fourth-generation X-FEL light sources in diffraction imaging experiments. An outline of the research being conducted by the Theory and modelling group of CXS will be presented to indicate our response to these challenges.

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