, Volume 376, Issue 5, pp 558-561
Date: 17 Jun 2003

X-ray microscopy: methods and perspectives

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In the last decade advances in nanostructuring technology led to rapid progress of the diffractive x-ray optics quality, e.g., Fresnel zone plates which became the key elements for high resolution and energy resolving x-ray imaging techniques performed at synchrotron sources [1, 2, 3]. With current nanostructuring technology zone structures with about 20 nm width can be manufactured. Using such zone plates in the soft x-ray range, a spatial resolution of about 25 nm is obtained. Presently, zone plates for multi-keV photons achieve a resolution of about 50 nm. Some selected synchrotron facilities which operate high resolution X-ray microscopes with zone plates as x-ray lenses are listed in Table 1.

Many different contrast mechanism like phase contrast imaging, dichroic effects, XANES imaging and X-ray fluorescence have been performed with diffractive x-ray optics and demonstrated the potential of X-ray probing techniques [1, 4, 5]. Due to the high penetration power of x-rays through matt