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CHAPTER 5

Dynamic and Static X-ray Scattering from Biological Systems on the Femtosecond to Nanosecond Time Scale

When the molecules in a single crystal or a concentrated solution are driven far from equilibrium, the structural course of their return to equilibrium can be monitored by dynamic X-ray scattering. Light-sensitive systems such as signaling photoreceptors can readily be displaced from equilibrium by absorption of a photon of visible light by their non-protein chromophore. Return to their dark, equilibrium state often requires many decades in time from femtoseconds to seconds, and is accompanied by structural changes in the chromophore itself and the protein in which it is embedded. Although slower structural changes can be followed by synchrotron-based techniques that isolate single X-ray pulses of around 100 ps duration, the fastest, femtosecond structural processes, such as isomerization and electron transfer, require the highly intense, femtosecond, hard X-ray pulses from free electron laser sources. The principles of dynamic, time-resolved X-ray scattering and its application at synchrotron and free electron laser sources are presented and illustrated here by recent successful examples.

Print publication date: 15 Aug 2017
Copyright year: 2017
Print ISBN: 978-1-84973-100-3
PDF eISBN: 978-1-78262-409-7
ePub eISBN: 978-1-78801-202-7
Citation:
From the book series:
Energy and Environment Series