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Hard x-ray phase contrast imaging of black lipid membranes
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We report hard x-ray phase contrast imaging of black lipidmembranes, freely suspended over a micromachined aperture in an aqueous solution. Biomolecular and organic substances can thus be probed in hydrated environments by parallel beam propagation imaging, using coherent multi-kilo-electronvolt x-ray radiation. The width of the thinning film can be resolved from analysis of the intensity fringes in the Fresnel diffraction regime down to about 200 nm. The thinning process, in which solvent is expelled from the space in between two opposing monolayers, is monitored, and the domain walls between coexisting domains of swollen and thinned membrane patches are characterized.
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