Fractal morphology: Imaging and mass spectrometry of single aerosol particles in flight

by N D Loh, C Y Hampton, M J  Bogan et al.

Nature 486 (2012)

Ultra-bright femtosecond pulses from x-ray free electron lasers (XFELs) have produced diffraction patterns of unprecedented resolution from single nanoscale objects before the onset of radiation damage.

In this work, we have developed statistical tools that probed the nanoscale heterogeneity of single soot aerosols in flight. These tools will eventually be extended to resolve high- resolution structural heterogeneity of biomolecules without the need for crystallization.

Pictured above:  Structural complexity in aerosol soot. Scale-invariant random processes drive the growth and aggregation of these aerosols, which results in fractal-like geometrical properties.

Read online: Nature.

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