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Sebastien boutet

Research Interests

X-ray and XFEL Technique Development

As a staff scientist working primarily on a beamline at LCLS, my primary interests lie in developing new tools and new techniques to utilize the full capabilities of x-ray FEL beams. The ultimate goal is to take new ideas and perform the first exploratory experiments in a new technique that eventually lead to generally available techniques for users of LCLS. Prime examples are the development of High Resolution Serial Femtosecond Crystallography and novel x-ray imaging techniques that utilize XFEL beams.

X-ray Optics and Instrumentation

New science capabilities and discoveries are usually initiated by new technology. The development of new instrumentation specific to certain classes of x-ray experiments is an important area of research and development. New ideas in x-ray optics to improve capabilities at LCLS are always explored and have led to a highly complex and flexible optical system at the CXI instrument. New instrumentation is constantly being developed to explore new avenues of x-ray research.

Ultrafast X-ray Diffraction

X-ray Free-Electron Lasers offer very unique opportunities for structural studies of condensed matter systems, including primarily biology. The use of ultrafast x-ray diffraction scattering techniques in all their forms represents my main research interest. Specific interests include
  • Time-resolved studies and molecular movies of
    • Crystallized biological systems
    • Inorganic nanoparticles
  • Use of ultrasfast x-ray pulses to study radiation sensitive systems
  • Serial Femtosecond Crystallography
  • Coherent Small and Wide Angle Scattering (SAXS/WAXS)
  • Time-resolved solution scattering
Single shot diffraction pattern from lysozyme First high resolution use of Serial Femtosecond Crystallography using CXI. Shown is a single shot diffraction pattern from lysozyme (Boutet et al, Science, 2012)

Coherent Diffractive Imaging

The ultimate goal is the study of single particles at high resolution using Coherent Diffractive Imaging in which the image of the object is retrieved from measuring a continuous diffraction pattern alone. This is in principle achievable with an x-ray FEL but represents a great challenge. My interests lie in developing new tools to achieve this ultimate goal, primarily instrumentation and technique but also software and analysis development.



SLAC SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Menlo Park, CA
Operated by Stanford University for the U.S. Dept. of Energy