News & Events

Smaller, faster, harder: Crystallography with XFELs

July 30, 2018

Richard Feynman knew a thing or two about biology. He is reported to have said, “Everything that living things do can be understood in terms of the jigglings and wigglings of atoms.” That is undoubtedly true, but until very recently almost everything we knew about biological processes at the molecular scale was derived from static images. Now, however, the new crystallography technique of X-ray free-electron laser (XFEL) spectroscopy is enabling structural biologists to take snapshots of...

Compact XFEL Light Source

January 25, 2018

Presented by Bill Graves, Ph. D., Associate Professor, Biodesign Center for Applied Structural Discovery Bill Graves and colleagues are pursuing development of a very compact XFEL based on inverse Compton scattering from a nanopatterned electron beam. CXFEL depends on a novel method to produce transform-limited X-ray output in all dimensions, that is with all photons in a single degenerate quantum state. This method avoids the noise amplification of SASE by imprinting a...

Discovery's Desert Home

September 18, 2017

  Editor's note: The following story was featured in the February 15 print edition of the journal Nature.  The Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University was designed to foster multidisciplinary collaboration and solve the world’s great challenges. The results speak for themselves. William Graves came to the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University (ASU) determined to change the world. The physicist had spent the past 13 years at the Massachusetts Institute of...

Biodesign C will help advance scientific frontiers

October 12, 2016

Arizona State University’s newest research building will be packed with the most advanced construction and technological gear of today. The science that goes on inside will find answers that benefit society every day after. Researchers will tackle the early detection and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, speed up drug discovery and explore new avenues in renewable energy. The third building in ASU’s Biodesign Institute complex, Biodesign C on the Tempe campus, will serve as home...

Tabletop Source of Hard X-rays: Toward a Compact XFEL

October 6, 2016

William Graves, Ph.D., Associate Professor, ASU Physics Department and the Biodesign Center for Applied Structural Discovery Advances in accelerator and laser technologies enable optimized production of intense beams of ultrashort X-ray pulses. The X-rays are produced by inverse Compton scattering of a high power laser pulse on a bright electron beam produced by a compact and inexpensive X-band linear accelerator and RF photoinjector. The resulting X-ray beam is orders of magnitude brighter...

Fostering North American partnerships

August 16, 2016

Sethuraman "Panch" Panchanathan (left), senior vice president for ASU's Knowledge Enterprise Development; Joshua LaBaer, an executive with the Biodesign Institute; and Luis Armando Kuroda of Mexico's Salud Digna and Fundación Vizcarra (right) sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on Aug. 15. The MOU establishes a commitment to collaborate using ASU's undergraduate and graduate scientific researchers and Salud Digna's preventative health-care services with the goal of bringing greater...

When going small is big news: ASU professor shrinking electron-laser technology

October 14, 2015

Free electron lasers — powerful devices that can peer deep into molecular structure and the ultrafast timescales of chemistry — cost billions to build and are miles long, but an Arizona State University professor is constructing a version that can fit on a tabletop. And it will cost a fraction of the price of its larger peers. This compact free electron laser will be accessible to millions of scientists, instead of hundreds, advancing countless fields of research and potentially...