Chris Jacobsen Professor of Physics and Astronomy; Argonne Distinguished Fellow, Advanced Photon Source, Argonne National Laboratory

Research Interests

Chris Jacobsen's research group develops x-ray imaging methods and applies them to problems in biology, environmental science, and materials science.  Modern synchrotron light sources produce x-ray beams with a time-averaged brightness about a billion times higher than laboratory sources, and free electron lasers boost the instantaneous brightness many orders of magnitude higher.  This means we can now use coherent x-ray beams for new imaging methods, new detection sensitivities, and new multiple-signal analysis methods. We do this both at nearby Argonne National Laboratory, where the Advanced Photon Source is our nation's premier hard x-ray science facility, and at the Advanced Light Source in Berkeley for experiments with soft x-rays with enhanced contrast for soft and biological materials.  We are interested in developing new optical approaches, in ways to obtain high resolution images without the use of optics through coherent diffraction methods, in ways to study chemistry at the nanoscale using spectromicroscopy, in ways to freeze dynamical processes (both literally, and through snapshot imaging), and in computational methods that allow us to answer questions on the function of materials from complex experimental data.  Our research combines classical physics approaches to optics and measurement science with collaborative studies into key problems such as understanding how carbon is sequestered in the environment, how to unlock the energy potential of biomass, how metals function as both regulators and toxins, and how cells and materials are structured.

Selected Publications

C. Holzner, M. Feser, S. Vogt, B. Hornberger, S.B. Baines, and C. Jacobsen, “Zernike phase contrast scanning microscopy with X-rays,” Nature Physics(published online 12 September 2010).

M.D. de Jonge, C. Holzner, S.B. Baines, B.S. Twining, K. Ignatyev, J. Diaz, D.L. Howard, D. Legnini, A. Miceli, I. McNulty, C.J. Jacobsen, and S. Vogt, “Quantitative 3D elemental microtomography of Cyclotella meneghiniana at 400-nm resolution,”Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 107, 15676-15680 (2010).

J. Nelson, X. Huang, J. Steinbrener, D. Shapiro, J. Kirz, S. Marchesini, A.M. Neiman, J.J. Turner, and C. Jacobsen, “High resolution x-ray diffraction microscopy of specifically labeled yeast cells,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 107, 7235 (2010). 

 X. Huang, J. Nelson, J. Kirz, E. Lima, S. Marchesini, H. Miao, A.M. Neiman, D. Shapiro, J. Steinbrener, A. Stewart, J.J. Turner, and C. Jacobsen, “Soft x-ray diffraction microscopy of a frozen hydrated yeast cell,” Physical Review Letters103, 198101 (2009). 

M. Howells, T. Beetz, H. Chapman, C. Cui, J. Holton, C. Jacobsen, J. Kirz, E. Lima, S. Marchesini, H. Miao, D. Sayre, D. Shapiro, J. Spence, and D. Starodub, “An assessment of the resolution limitation due to radiation-damage in x-ray diffraction microscopy,” Journal of Electron Spectroscopy and Related Phenomena 170, 4–12 (2009).