Towards molecular movies with X-ray photon correlation spectroscopy
In this perspective article we highlight research opportunities and challenges in probing structural dynamics of molecular systems using X-ray Photon Correlation Spectroscopy (XPCS). The development of new X-ray sources, such as 4th generation storage rings and X-ray free-electron lasers (XFELs), provides promising new insights into molecular motion. Employing XPCS at these sources allows to capture a very broad range of timescales and lengthscales, spanning from femtoseconds to minutes and atomic scales to the mesoscale. Here, we discuss the scientific questions that can be addressed with these novel tools for two prominent examples: the dynamics of proteins in biomolecular condensates and the dynamics of supercooled water. Finally, we provide practical tips for designing and estimating feasibility of XPCS experiments as well as on detecting and mitigating radiation damage.
- This article is part of the themed collection: PCCP Perspectives