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Abstract of [Son18d]

What happens to atoms and molecules at high x-ray intensity?

Sang-Kil Son

Special seminar
(Department of Chemistry, KAIST, Daejeon, Korea, October 31, 2018) [oral presentation]

[bib][BibTeX][slide][slide: 12Mb][link]https://chem.kaist.ac.kr/schedule/menu5.php?is_convert=n

In this talk, I will discuss how atoms and molecules interact with intense x-ray pulses generated by x-ray free-electron lasers (XFELs). XFELs open a new era in science and technology, offering many unique opportunities that have not been conceivable with conventional light sources. Because of their very high x-ray photon fluence within very short pulse duration, materials interacting with XFEL undergo significant radiation damage, i.e., they possibly become highly ionized and then explode. Understanding of radiation damage is the key for successful XFEL experiments. I will present a theoretical framework to treat x-ray-induced processes and to simulate radiation damage dynamics, introducing two dedicated toolkits, XATOM and XMOLECULE. Then I will present two recent studies, x-ray multiphoton ionization dynamics of Xe atoms and ultrafast explosion dynamics of iodomethane (CH3I) molecules. The former demonstrates an interplay between resonance and relativistic effects in the heavy-atom ionization dynamics, and the latter reveals x-ray molecular ionization enhancement via intramolecular charge transfer. Both of them provide critical insights of radiation damage dynamics of molecules containing heavy atoms, for example, metalloproteins, at high x-ray intensity. With these examples, I will demonstrate how theory and experiment work together to advance XFEL science, and discuss how to apply these new findings for potential XFEL applications such as femtosecond x-ray nanocrystallography.


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