Resolving dynamic fragmentation of liquids at the nanoscale with ultrafast small-angle X-ray scattering

S Chen and HW Chai and AM He and T Tschentscher and Y Cai and SN Luo, JOURNAL OF SYNCHROTRON RADIATION, 26, 1412-1421 (2019).

DOI: 10.1107/S160057751900732X

High-brightness coherent ultrashort X-ray free-electron lasers (XFELs) are promising in resolving nanoscale structures at the highest temporal resolution (similar to 10fs). The feasibility is explored of resolving ultrafast fragmentation of liquids at the nanoscale with single-shot small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) on the basis of large-scale molecular dynamics simulations. Fragmentation of liquid sheets under adiabatic expansion is investigated. From the simulated SAXS patterns, particle-volume size distributions are obtained with the regularization method and average particle sizes with the weighted Guinier method, at different expansion rates. The particle sizes obtained from simulated SAXS are in excellent agreement with direct cluster analysis. Pulse- width effects on SAXS measurements are examined. The results demonstrate the feasibility of resolving the nanoscale dynamics of fragmentation and similar processes with SAXS, and provide guidance for future XFEL experiments and data interpretation.

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