Volume 2, Issue 5, September 2015
- Theory and Modelling
2(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4928686View Description Hide Description
Intense ultrashort laser pulses can melt crystals in less than a picosecond but, in spite of over thirty years of active research, for many materials it is not known to what extent thermal and nonthermal microscopic processes cause this ultrafast phenomenon. Here, we perform ab-initio molecular-dynamics simulations of silicon on a laser-excited potential-energy surface, exclusively revealing nonthermal signatures of laser-induced melting. From our simulated atomic trajectories, we compute the decay of five structure factors and the time-dependent structure function. We demonstrate how these quantities provide criteria to distinguish predominantly nonthermal from thermal melting.
- Experimental Methodologies
2(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4928715View Description Hide Description
We present a liquid flatjet system for solution phase soft-x-ray spectroscopy. The flatjet set-up utilises the phenomenon of formation of stable liquid sheets upon collision of two identical laminar jets. Colliding the two single water jets, coming out of the nozzles with 50 μm orifices, under an impact angle of 48° leads to double sheet formation, of which the first sheet is 4.6 mm long and 1.0 mm wide. The liquid flatjet operates fully functional under vacuum conditions (<10−3 mbar), allowing soft-x-ray spectroscopy of aqueous solutions in transmission mode. We analyse the liquid water flatjet thickness under atmospheric pressure using interferomeric or mid-infrared transmission measurements and under vacuum conditions by measuring the absorbance of the O K-edge of water in transmission, and comparing our results with previously published data obtained with standing cells with Si3N4 membrane windows. The thickness of the first liquid sheet is found to vary between 1.4–3 μm, depending on the transverse and longitudinal position in the liquid sheet. We observe that the derived thickness is of similar magnitude under 1 bar and under vacuum conditions. A catcher unit facilitates the recycling of the solutions, allowing measurements on small sample volumes (∼10 ml). We demonstrate the applicability of this approach by presenting measurements on the N K-edge of aqueous NH4 +. Our results suggest the high potential of using liquid flatjets in steady-state and time-resolved studies in the soft-x-ray regime.
2(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4928706View Description Hide Description
We present a crystallography chip enabling in situ room temperature crystallography at microfocus synchrotron beamlines and X-ray free-electron laser (X-FEL) sources. Compared to other in situ approaches, we observe extremely low background and high diffraction data quality. The chip design is robust and allows fast and efficient loading of thousands of small crystals. The ability to load a large number of protein crystals, at room temperature and with high efficiency, into prescribed positions enables high throughput automated serial crystallography with microfocus synchrotron beamlines. In addition, we demonstrate the application of this chip for femtosecond time-resolved serial crystallography at the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS, Menlo Park, California, USA). The chip concept enables multiple images to be acquired from each crystal, allowing differential detection of changes in diffraction intensities in order to obtain high signal-to-noise and fully exploit the time resolution capabilities of XFELs.
- Biological Systems
Solution study of the Escherichia coli DNA polymerase III clamp loader reveals the location of the dynamic ψχ heterodimer2(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4927407View Description Hide Description
Several X-ray crystal structures of the E. coli core clamp loader containing the five core (δ′, δ, and three truncated γ) subunits have been determined, but they lack the ψ and χ subunits. We report the first solution structure of the complete seven-subunit clamp loader complex using small angle X-ray scattering. This structure not only provides information about the location of the χ and ψ subunits but also provides a model of the dynamic nature of the clamp loader complex.