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Inhomogeneous probes for BCDI: Toward the imaging of dynamic and distorted crystals

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posted on 2024-03-13, 16:01 authored by I. Calvo-Almazán, V. Chamard, T. Grünewald, M. Allain
This work proposes an innovative approach to improve Bragg coherent diffraction imaging (BCDI) microscopy applied to time evolving crystals and/or non-homogeneous crystalline strain fields, identified as two major limitations of BCDI microscopy. Speckle BCDI (spBCDI), introduced here, rests on the ability of a strongly non-uniform illumination to induce a convolution of the three-dimensional (3D) frequency content associated with the finite-size crystal and a kernel acting perpendicularly to the illumination beam. In the framework of Bragg diffraction geometry, this convolution is beneficial as it encodes some 3D information about the sample in a single two-dimensional (2D) measurement, i.e., in the detector plane. With this approach, we demonstrate that we can drastically reduce the sampling frequency along the rocking curve direction and still obtain data sets with enough information to be inverted by a traditional phase retrieval algorithm. Numerical simulations, performed for a highly distorted crystal, show that spBCDI allows a gain in the sampling ratio ranging between 4 and 20 along the rocking curve scan, for a speckle illumination with individual speckle size of 50 nm. Furthermore, spBCDI allows working at low intensity levels, leading to an additional gain for the total scanning time. Reductions of a factor of about 32 were numerically observed. Thus, measurements in the 0.3 s time scale at 4th generation synchrotrons become feasible, with a remarkable performance for the imaging of strongly distorted crystals. Practical details on the implementation of the method are also discussed.



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