Journal article

X-Ray Secondary-Emission Microscopy (Xsem) of Neurons

We present the first X-ray secondary (photoelectron) emission microscopy (XSEM) pictures and video microimages of an uncoated and unstained neuron specimen. This novel kind of synchrotron radiation microscopy is suitable for local chemical analysis with a lateral resolution in the micron range. We explored the details of the neuron system, demonstrated chemical contrast by scanning the photon energy, studied in real time the photoelectron emitting properties of the specimen's components, and made preliminary tests of the radiation damage. These results significantly enhance the potential role of photoemission techniques in the life sciences and specifically in neurobiology.


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