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Multiwavelength anomalous diffraction at high x-ray intensity
Sang-Kil Son, Henry N. Chapman, and Robin Santra
Phys. Rev. Lett. 107, 218102 (2011)
The multiwavelength anomalous diffraction (MAD) method is used to determine phase information in x-ray crystallography by employing anomalous scattering from heavy atoms. X-ray free-electron lasers (FELs) show promise for revealing the structure of single molecules or nanocrystals, but the phase problem remains largely unsolved. Because of the ultrabrightness of x-ray FEL, samples experience severe electronic radiation damage, especially to heavy atoms, which hinders direct implementation of MAD with x-ray FELs. Here, we propose a generalized version of MAD phasing at high x-ray intensity. We demonstrate the existence of a Karle–Hendrickson-type equation in the high-intensity regime and calculate relevant coefficients with detailed electronic damage dynamics of heavy atoms. The present method offers a potential for ab initio structural determination in femtosecond x-ray nanocrystallography.