Single-shot three-dimensional structure determination of nanocrystals with femtosecond X-ray free-electron laser pulses

Rui Xu, Huaidong Jiang, Changyong Song, Jose A. Rodriguez, Zhifeng Huang, Chien Chun Chen, Daewoong Nam, Jaehyun Park, Marcus Gallagher-Jones, Sangsoo Kim, Sunam Kim, Akihiro Suzuki, Yuki Takayama, Tomotaka Oroguchi, Yukio Takahashi, Jiadong Fan, Yunfei Zou, Takaki Hatsui, Yuichi Inubushi, Takashi KameshimaKoji Yonekura, Kensuke Tono, Tadashi Togashi, Takahiro Sato, Masaki Yamamoto, Masayoshi Nakasako, Makina Yabashi, Tetsuya Ishikawa, Jianwei Miao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

92 Citations (Scopus)


Conventional three-dimensional (3D) structure determination methods require either multiple measurements at different sample orientations or a collection of serial sections through a sample. Here we report the experimental demonstration of single-shot 3D structure determination of an object; in this case, individual gold nanocrystals at ∼5.5â €‰nm resolution using ∼10â €‰fs X-ray free-electron laser pulses. Coherent diffraction patterns are collected from high-index-faceted nanocrystals, each struck by an X-ray free-electron laser pulse. Taking advantage of the symmetry of the nanocrystal and the curvature of the Ewald sphere, we reconstruct the 3D structure of each nanocrystal from a single-shot diffraction pattern. By averaging a sufficient number of identical nanocrystals, this method may be used to determine the 3D structure of nanocrystals at atomic resolution. As symmetry exists in many virus particles, this method may also be applied to 3D structure studies of such particles at nanometer resolution on femtosecond time scales.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4061
JournalNature communications
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jun 5

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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