1st School and Workshop on X-Ray Micro and Nanoprobes: Instruments, Methodologies and Applications

In recent years the research activity in novel X-ray optics and methodologies has been very active, fostered by the impressive achievements of the third generation synchrotron radiation sources. Advanced methodologies, as micro and nano-imaging, phase contrast microscopy, microtomography, holotomography, fluotomography (or 3-D fluorescence analysis), microspectroscopy, microdiffraction, etc. are being developed with submicron spatial resolution and currently applied in many scientific fields. Coherent diffraction from non-periodic objects is bridging the gap between diffraction and imaging, with nanometer spatial resolution and extremely interesting perspectives in studies of organic molecules and protein studies. The fourth generation synchrotron radiation sources like the Free Electron Lasers (FEL), with 10 orders of magnitude higher brilliance than the present one, and pulses as short as few tens of fs, make the possibility of imaging the single (non-crystallised) protein a realistic goal. On the other hand, the great progresses with SR sources had a very positive fall-out also on development of innovative table-top laboratory sources, in particular micro-sources with target dimensions few microns wide and enhanced brilliance with respect to standard x-ray generators. Together with advanced x-ray optics, which provide significant enhancement of flux density, the new sources achieve micrometer or even sub-micrometer spatial resolution, allow phase contrast imaging and provide extremely useful tool in microscopy, microtomography and microfluorescence. Other type of sources, like laser- plasma sources open the way also to in-house experiments with very short pulsed beams. Due to the progress in instrumentation, new methodologies and new applications are constantly developing, making this field very active and stimulating. The great progress achieved and the future perspectives are now enough mature to be applied to a number of different scientific fields, such as life sciences, nanoscience, material engineering, cultural heritage, security, etc., but require new generation of researchers and knowledge exchange between specialists in different fields, with a real multidisciplinary approach. The proposed school and workshop has the aim to mark the state-of-the-art in these topics, and to provide a useful background to PhD students and young researchers who start their activity in this field. The school, which will take place in the first three days, aims at giving the basic elements of the techniques also to students not familiar with the subject, and the workshop, which will run in the last days, will give an overview of the most recent developments, with participation of the top scientists in the field.