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Fractal morphology, imaging and mass spectrometry of single aerosol particles in flight

MPS-Authors
http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons30451

Epp,  S. W.
Division Prof. Dr. Joachim H. Ullrich, MPI for Nuclear Physics, Max Planck Society;
Max Planck Advanced Study Group, Center for Free-Electron Laser Science (CFEL;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons49162

Erk,  Benjamin
Division Prof. Dr. Joachim H. Ullrich, MPI for Nuclear Physics, Max Planck Society;
Max Planck Advanced Study Group, Center for Free-Electron Laser Science (CFEL;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons30960

Rudenko,  Artem
Division Prof. Dr. Joachim H. Ullrich, MPI for Nuclear Physics, Max Planck Society;
Max Planck Advanced Study Group, Center for Free-Electron Laser Science (CFEL;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons49160

Rudek,  Benedikt
Division Prof. Dr. Joachim H. Ullrich, MPI for Nuclear Physics, Max Planck Society;
Max Planck Advanced Study Group, Center for Free-Electron Laser Science (CFEL;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons4935

Kimmel,  N.
High Energy Astrophysics, MPI for Extraterrestrial Physics, Max Planck Society;
Max-Planck-Institut Halbleiterlabor;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons20151

Weidenspointner,  G.
High Energy Astrophysics, MPI for Extraterrestrial Physics, Max Planck Society;
Max-Planck-Institut Halbleiterlabor;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons37950

Hauser,  G.
High Energy Astrophysics, MPI for Extraterrestrial Physics, Max Planck Society;
Max-Planck-Institut Halbleiterlabor;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons4891

Strüder,  L.
High Energy Astrophysics, MPI for Extraterrestrial Physics, Max Planck Society;
Max-Planck-Institut Halbleiterlabor;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons31125

Ullrich,  J.
Division Prof. Dr. Joachim H. Ullrich, MPI for Nuclear Physics, Max Planck Society;
Max Planck Advanced Study Group, Center for Free-Electron Laser Science (CFEL;

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Citation

Loh, N. D., Hampton, C. Y., Martin, A. V., Starodub, D., Sierra, R. G., Barty, A., et al. (2012). Fractal morphology, imaging and mass spectrometry of single aerosol particles in flight. Nature, 486(7404), 513-517. doi:10.1038/nature11222.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0014-7274-E
Abstract
The morphology of micrometre-size particulate matter is of critical importance in fields ranging from toxicology to climate science, yet these properties are surprisingly difficult to measure in the particles’ native environment. Electron microscopy requires collection of particles on a substrate; visible light scattering provides insufficient resolution; and X-ray synchrotron studies have been limited to ensembles of particles. Here we demonstrate an in situ method for imaging individual sub-micrometre particles to nanometre resolution in their native environment, using intense, coherent X-ray pulses from the Linac Coherent Light Source free-electron laser. We introduced individual aerosol particles into the pulsed X-ray beam, which is sufficiently intense that diffraction from individual particles can be measured for morphological analysis. At the same time, ion fragments ejected from the beam were analysed using mass spectrometry, to determine the composition of single aerosol particles. Our results show the extent of internal dilation symmetry of individual soot particles subject to non-equilibrium aggregation, and the surprisingly large variability in their fractal dimensions. More broadly, our methods can be extended to resolve both static and dynamic morphology of general ensembles of disordered particles. Such general morphology has implications in topics such as solvent accessibilities in proteins, vibrational energy transfer by the hydrodynamic interaction of amino acids8, and large-scale production of nanoscale structures by flame synthesis.