The University of Southampton

Ultrafast Laser X-Ray

Working in collaboration with other departments within the university, the group are developing femtosecond laser-based soft X-ray sources. 

The X-ray source can be used for high-resolution imaging, with the aim of probing the shape of single proteins and other nanoscale objects, and also for ultrafast time-resolved measurements, as the pulses are less that 10fs long. The source is based on a high-power femtosecond laser, which produces ultrafast soft X-ray pulses via high harmonic generation.

Group webpage

Projects:

Ultrafast coherent X-ray imaging of neurons

Supervisor:  W.S. Brocklesby 
Co-Supervisor:  John Chad/Katherine Deinhart, IfLS

We are our brains - our brain controls our daily activities, seeing, talking and moving, as well as our emotions and behaviour. Within the healthy brain, neurons form large, highly controlled communication networks with multiple other cells. Study of the structure of neurons on a scale less than 100 nm is challenging. Within our research group we have developed an ultrafast coherent X-ray source, based on a high-energy femtosecond pulsed laser, which can be used for very high resolution imaging, and we have demonstrated the first ever application of such a source to biological structures. This project aims to improve this new technique, and apply it to the study of the structure and interconnection of neurons.

(A studentship may be available for this project. We are applying for 50% studentship funding via IfLS, with the same group of co-supervisors.)

We are planning to apply for funding via a targeted call from BBSRC, “Tools and Resources development in Bioimaging”, which closes on 23rd November 2016. 

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