Many lab scientists contributed to a new book from The Royal Society of Chemistry, entitled “X-Ray Free Electron Lasers: Applications in Materials, Chemistry and Biology”.
The book, published Aug. 15, is intended to be a primer for researchers interested in working with XFELs.
Uwe Bergmann, distinguished scientist at SLAC, co-edited the book with Vittal Yachandra and Junko Yano from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
“It’s great timing for this book, because it's really such an early period in the field of XFEL science,” Bergmann says. “These contributions are from pioneers of the field.”
Roberto Alonso-Mori, LCLS staff scientist, wrote a chapter on the study of metalloproteins with Berkeley Lab scientist Jan Kern. Other chapters written by SLAC scientists cover the physics of the machines, data processing, 3-D imaging, reactions on the femtosecond timescale, and new opportunities enabled by high repetition rates, among other topics.
“The book explores the technical developments made possible at XFELs and reviews the science done since they turned on,” Alonso-Mori says.
When SLAC’s LCLS came online in 2009, it was the first laser in the world to produce "hard," or very high energy X-rays. It’s now joined by the SPring-8 Angstrom Compact free electron Laser (SACLA) facility in Japan, which began operation in 2011, the European XFEL in Germany, which will welcome its first users in September, and new facilities opening in Switzerland and the Republic of Korea next year.
Bergmann adds that the research community using XFELs is rapidly growing, so one goal for the authors is to increase understanding of these unique machines in fields that are not yet familiar with them.
“I hope people who are thinking about using these powerful tools in their research will get a better understanding of some of the technical capabilities and scientific opportunities,” Bergmann says.
The book is available for sale online, as well as a full list of chapters and authors.