23 MAY 2016: A LCLS experiment performed by a collaboration comprising the PULSE Institute, Max-Planck Institute for Medical Research, Princeton University, and Paul Scherrer Institute has revealed, for the first time, the effects of the intense LCLS X-rays on liquid droplets. The high-speed imaging employed in this experiment was designed by PULSE PI Claudiu Stan and showed that individual liquid droplets explode as the X-ray pulses contact them. In the case of liquid jets, a gap was punched in the jet stream where the X-rays intersect with the sample. As both modes represent common approaches to delivering samples for LCLS experiments, the ability to directly observe these explosions, together with the mathematical modeling built upon these data, could better inform experiments relying on these sample delivery approaches, particularly those to be done at high-repetition-rate XFEL sources coming online in the future (e.g. LCLS-II and European XFEL).
SLAC News has written an article featuring commentary from Dr. Stan and Dr. Sebastien Boutet (PULSE/LCLS), first and senior authors on the paper, as well as representative videos of the liquid explosions. The paper (C. Stan et al.) is published in Nature Physics.